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Defence in trial of Hannah Leflar's killer wants client to get into rehab

Last Updated May 18, 2017 at 9:00 pm PDT

REGINA – A defence lawyer is arguing a decision to deny one of Hannah Leflar’s killers entry to a rehabilitation program for violent young offenders should be reconsidered.

The 19-year-old has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder of Leflar, his former girlfriend.

They were both 16 when he stabbed her to death in her home after months of stalking her.

His sentencing hearing has previously been told his application to the Intense Rehabilitation Custody Sentence program, for violent offenders with mental health issues, was denied in March.

On Thursday, defence lawyer James Struthers argued the process that resulted in the denial is “awful” and lacking in transparency, and asked the judge to force the program’s director to reconsider the decision.

Justice Jennifer Pritchard hasn’t made a decision yet, saying she wants time to carefully consider it.

Meanwhile, the Crown asked Pritchard for permission to bring in reply evidence to testimony provided by a witness for the defence earlier this week.

Dr. Terry Nicholiachuck testified that if the teen is sentenced as an adult, he would have virtually no access to any mental-health programs.

The Crown said that isn’t true and wants to bring in a witness from Correctional Service Canada to speak to the programs offered in federal prisons.

The judge agreed to hear more, saying she was “taken aback” by the doctor’s evidence.

The Crown is seeking an adult sentence in the case.

A second teen, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, is expected to be sentenced in September. He originally faced a charge of first-degree murder.

(CTV Regina)