Crown prosecutors called a last-minute expert witness Friday at the sentencing hearing for the 19-year-old man who killed Hannah Leflar in January 2015.
Trina Debler, an employee with Correctional Services Canada, was called to dispute testimony from psychologist Terry Nicholaichuk earlier in the week that there wouldn’t be sufficient mental health help in federal prisons for Leflar’s killer.
Nicholaichuk testified that services for the 19-year-old, who cannot be named because he was 16 at the time of the killing, would be limited in federal prison after he aged out of youth facilities at age 20.
The Crown and Justice Jennifer Pritchard questioned whether or not Nicholaichuk was entitled to offer such a suggestion as he was not employed by CSC.
Pritchard also mentioned the possibility of conducting another test for psychopathy, since Nicholaichuk’s results differed considerably from what had been suggested earlier at the hearing by psychiatrist Brent Harold.
Harold had testified last week that the teen was among a handful of people out of thousands who displayed “psychopathic tendencies.” Nicholaichuk, meanwhile, said the teen scored extremely low on the test for psychopathy he administered.
Debler said there are services offered through the Integrated Correctional Program Model in federal penitentiaries which provide “multi-targeted programs” with a “more holistic” approach for individual needs.
The programs have varying intensities, offering as many as 97 group and individual sessions for high-risk offenders.
Debler noted that the program is not offered to inmates in segregation due to its group orientation and inmates in the program are prioritized by need.
The program is available to someone serving a life sentence with parole eligibility in 10 years but the programming would have to be complete before any parole hearing.
The sentencing hearing is to determine whether or not the 19-year-old will be sentenced as an adult.