First-degree murder charges against a pair of Edmonton teens in the deaths of two people in Strathcona County, Alta., were quietly reduced before the proceedings in the case derailed completely.
The boys, both 14 at the time, were accused of shooting Barry Boenke, 68, and Susan Trudel, 50, on a rural property near Ardrossan after escaping the nearby Bosco group home in June 2009.
One boy was charged with first-degree murder. Six months later, RCMP publicly announced the second boy — originally charged with being an accessory after the fact — would also face first-degree murder charges.
A murder is classified as first degree if it is planned or occurs during another serious crime such as sexual assault or kidnapping.
After the preliminary hearing in September 2010, the Crown quietly reduced charges against both teens to second-degree murder.
That came as news last week to Boenke's wife Judy Breitkreitz.
"I think it's very important that the public be made aware of all the things that have taken place over the past two years," she said.
The Crown refuses to say why the charges were reduced.
In May 2011, proceedings in the case were stayed — meaning it's unlikely the teens will ever be prosecuted — after the judge tossed out a statement one of the teens gave police.