Widow shocked by unconditional release of husband's killer

The man who shot sportscaster Brian Smith to death in 1995 was granted an unconditional release on Monday. The decision by the Ontario Review Board was a shock to Smith's widow.

The man who shotsportscaster Brian Smith to death in 1995 was granted an unconditionaldischarge from a mental healthcentre on Monday.

The decision by the Ontario Review Board to release 49-year-old Jeffrey Arenburg from the facility in Penetanguishene, Ont., without conditions wasa shockto Smith's widow, Alana Kainz, who fears Arenburg may still pose a danger to the community.
Alana Kainz (left) was widowed when her husband Brian Smith (right) was shot to death in 1995. ((CBC))

"I would have liked to have seen—and the Crown agreed with me— one more year under the conditions he was under," said Kainz.

Up until now, Arenburg has had to check in regularly withmedical staff at themental health centre.

Brian Smith was a sportscaster for CJOH, an OttawaCTV affiliate now knownmainly as"CTV." He was walking through the television station's parking lot when Arenburg fatally shot him on Aug. 1, 1995.

Two years later, Arenburg was found not criminally responsiblein Smith'sslaying because he suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.

Kainz said she has sympathy for Arenburg and his struggles with the psychiatric disorder.

"I have forgiven him as I understand the illness more and more," she said.

But she still fears Arenburg may pose a danger to someone else in the future if he goes off the medication that keeps his paranoid delusions in check.

"I know his history," she said. "He does go off his medication when he feels well enough."
Jeffrey Arenburg has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and was found not criminally responsible in Smith's death. ((CBC))

Mark Parsons, spokesman for an Ottawa psychiatric illness support group, said Arenburg should pose nothreat to himself or others provided he has people who can look out for him and provide help if needed.

"If he has good supports, if he's connected, then he should do well in the community."

Parsons said Arenburg is welcome to look to the 300-member support group that he is part of, Psychiatric Survivors of Ottawa.