Medicine Hat girl felt bad for having boyfriend kill family: witness

A 13-year-old girl accused of murdering her family said she felt bad for her boyfriend because he had committed the crimes on her behalf, a Medicine Hat courtroom heard Thursday.

A 13-year-old girl accused of murdering her family said she felt bad for her boyfriend because he had committed the crimes on her behalf, a Medicine Hat courtroom heard Thursday.

Kacy Lancaster, 20, testified that the accused voiced the concerns about her boyfriend, Jeremy Steinke, soon after they were arrested in Saskatchewan less than a day after her mother, father and eight-year-old brother were found stabbed and slashed to death in their Medicine Hat, Alta., home in April 2006.

The girl "said that she was worried about Jeremy and said she felt bad because he only did this for her," Lancaster said.

The accused, who was 12 at the time of the April 2006 deaths, can't be identified under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act. She and Steinke, now 24, are both charged with three counts of first-degree murder, but Steinke has yet to enter a plea.

Lancaster, who has been charged as an accessory to the murders but has yet to enter a plea, admitted in court that she drove Steinke's truck to a secluded parking lot the day the bodies were found and helped wipe down the interior. The seat was stained, she recalled, but she didn't know why Steinke had asked her to take the vehicle away and clean it.

"He didn't really give me any reason," Lancaster told Crown prosecutor Stephanie Cleary.

While cleaning the truck, she also removed a large folding knife "that looked a bit expensive" and that she didn't want stolen.

Woman drove accused to Saskatchewan

Throughout the girl's trial, now in its third week, Lancaster has played a central role. Her name has popped up in testimony from a long procession of young Crown witnesses who often called her when they needed a ride.

She was at Steinke's house the night of the killings, she said, and then had numerous encounters with him and the accused the next day.

Lancaster said another young friend of hers was running away from her foster parents and mother, so she agreed to drive her and a few others to Leader, Sask., that evening. Steinke and his girlfriend asked if they could come along.

"I actually thought she was running away, and I thought Jeremy was keeping a low profile too," she said.

They arrived in Leader late on Sunday, April 23, nearly out of fuel. No gas stations were open, so they ended up spending the night parked in a field.

The next morning at a gas station, they bought a newspaper that reported the killings on the front page, Lancaster said.

"I sat and read the paper and didn't quite know what to make of it— we were in shock," Lancaster told the jury.

Soon afterwards, the truck was surrounded by police and all five occupants were arrested.

According to Lancaster, the accused said her pants were off when she was arrested andpolice wouldn't let her get dressed.

She "was worried about Jeremy being charged with raping her because she was a minor."

17-year-old girl alsocleaned truck

Earlier Thursday, court heard from another teen who was also part of the group arrested in Leader.

The 17-year-old girl, who had also been charged as an accessory to murder, recently pleaded guilty in youth court to the lesser charge of obstructing justice and is set to be sentenced in September.

She told court that she was stoned on cocaine and marijuana on the days before and after the killings, but recalled that Steinke had snorted several lines of cocaine at her boyfriend's house on the night of the killings.

The teen said she remembers helping Lancaster wipe down the passenger side of Steinke's truck the next day, but she didn't really know why they were doing it.

She also told the jury she didn't know about the crimes until she saw the newspaper the next morning.

As well, she admitted she lied to police when she was arrested, that she cut the police car seats with a razor blade and that she tried to punch out the acrylic plastic window.

"I was not a very polite person at all. I was kind of provoking the police," she testified.

"I don't know why. I guess it's just one of those stupid things that people do."