Calgary stabbings: Judge reserves decision on unsealing court document

A decision on whether potentially graphic details surrounding the fatal stabbings of five young Calgarians will be released to the media has been reserved by a Calgary judge.

Matthew de Grood charged with 5 counts of 1st-degree murder in April house-party slayings

Zackariah Rathwell, 21,Lawrence Hong, 27, Kaitlin Perras, 23, ​Jordan Segura, 22, and Joshua Hunter, 23, died after Matthew de Grood, 23, allegedly went on a stabbing rampage at the party in the early hours of April 15. (Facebook)

A decision on whether potentially graphic details surrounding the fatal stabbings of five young Calgarians will be released to the media has been reserved by a Calgary judge until March.

Provincial court Judge Tim Hironaka heard an application from the media to unseal a document called an information to obtain (ITO), which is also known as a search warrant application.

Matthew de Grood, 23, is accused of stabbing five people to death at a Calgary party in April. (The Canadian Press)

The ITO contains details about what happened early in the morning on April 15 in Brentwood in northwest Calgary.

The victims, who were all in their 20s, were celebrating the end of university classes at a home in the area when the stabbings happened. Lawrence Hong, Joshua Hunter, Kaitlin PerrasZackariah Rathwell and ​Jordan Segura were killed.

Families and friends of the five people fatally stabbed filled the Calgary courtroom today for the proceedings.

The judge heard arguments from a lawyer representing the CBC, as well as other media outlets, asking the ITO be unsealed. 

Arguing against the unsealing are Crown prosecutors, as well as a lawyer for the Calgary police and several friends and family of the victims who were allowed to make submissions. 

Earlier this month the victims’ families issued a public plea for the ITO to remain sealed because it contains "the most graphic details of the crime."

"Our priority as we try and rebuild our lives is to protect the dignity of our lost children and try and prevent the revictimization of the young people who were traumatized by the events of April 15, 2014," the statement read. "They continue to relive every detail of that night, and the last thing any of us need at this time is additional anguish and sorrow."

There is a publication ban on the details of the arguments presented on Wednesday. 

Matthew DeGrood, 23, is charged with five counts of first-degree murder in connection to the slayings. He has undergone a number of psychiatric assessments, the latest of which is also sealed.

His preliminary hearing has been scheduled for March.