A Manitoba woman who abused and murdered her daughter in one of the state’s most notorious crimes was granted temporary escorted absence from prison.
The Canadian Parole Board has allowed Samantha Kemac to visit with her family and, separately, with an Aboriginal elder for spiritual development.
“The board believes that more exposure to your culture will not only help you on your healing journey, but also help you manage your risk factors more effectively,” said the board of directors on July 21. Read the meeting report.
“The board concludes that both professional development and family contact (accompanied temporary absence) release plans facilitate reintegration into society.”
Kemac and her then-boyfriend Karl McKay were convicted of first-degree murder for murdering Kemac’s daughter, Phoenix Sinclair, in 2005 and sentenced to life without parole for 25 years. Sentenced to prison.
At their trial, they heard that Phoenix, who was five years old when he died, was repeatedly abused, including being shot with a BB gun and forced to eat his own vomit.
Phoenix was often trapped in the unfinished concrete basement of his family’s home in the Fisher River Reserve north of Winnipeg. There were other children in the house who had seen the abuse Phoenix chose.
After the fatal final assault, McKay and Kemac wrapped the girl’s body in plastic and buried her. The couple continued to collect welfare payments with Phoenix listed as a dependent. A ruse discovered months after Kematch tried to pass off another girl as Phoenix.
The parole board’s decision provides insight into Kematch’s behavior since her 2008 conviction. Kematch, now 40, married another inmate, attended counseling, and accepted responsibility for her crimes, documents say.
“You… have trust issues as a result of your history, so it took me a while to build trust, but in the end I was able to talk about my crimes and accept responsibility for them.” said the report.
Kematch participated in sweat lodge ceremonies and mental health treatment and was employed full-time in prison, the report added.
“You can now establish a healthy lifestyle and access support when you need it.”
Kematch previously had 20 escorts from prison for medical purposes, but they happened without incident, the report said.
Phoenix spent much of her short life caring for family friends and the child welfare system. Her death and the fact that it went undiscovered for about nine months prompted a public investigation .
Investigation revealed that social workers were unaware of Phoenix’s safety and whereabouts, and often closed files without seeing her. Social workers also failed to recognize that the man Kemac began living with in 2004 was McKay and had a documented history of domestic violence, including hitting his ex-girlfriend with the foot of the bathroom sink. did.