July 13, 2018 8:17 pm
Updated: July 13, 2018 8:24 pm

Richard Kachkar, who killed Toronto cop in 2011, may receive conditional discharge

As Catherine McDonald reports, the widow of Sgt. Ryan Russell says she can't believe the man who killed her husband is likely to get more freedom.

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The widow of Sgt. Ryan Russell, a Toronto police officer killed in the line of duty on January 2011, choked back tears as she delivered a tearful victim impact statement at the annual Ontario Review Board hearing for her husband’s killer, Richard Kachkar.

Kachkar was found not criminally responsible for killing Russell, a 35-year-old husband and father of a two-year-old boy, in March 2013.

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“Richard, you killed my husband Ryan Russell seven-and-a-half years ago. But it’s me getting a life sentence, I’m the one living without him,” Christine Russell read to the five-member panel as Kachkar sat across the table, staring straight ahead and saying nothing.

Kachkar killed Russell after running down the officer of 11 years while behind the wheel of a stolen snowplow on Avenue Road near Davenport Avenue.

READ MORE: Richard Kachkar, who killed Toronto cop in 2011, granted permission to travel

Two years later, a jury agreed with the Kachkar’s lawyer, who argued Kachkar was experiencing a psychotic episode at the time.

The Ontario Review Board heard from Kachkar’s psychiatrist, Jennifer Pytyck from the Ontario Shores Mental Health Centre in Whitby. She said since Kachkar’s last hearing more than a year ago, just two months after Kachkar was discharged into the community with supervision, he has exhibited no psychotic symptoms.

“At this point, given his stability in the community, a detention order is no longer an appropriate disposition,” Pytyck told the board.

Pytyck said that Kachkar, who is now 53 years-old, shows very good insight into what he’s done and remains remorseful for what he’s done. She also acknowledged Kachkar’s psychosis has a possibility of reoccurring, particularly if he has stress in his life like he did leading up to the day Russell was killed.

READ MORE: Man deemed not criminally responsible for death of Toronto cop now living in community

Pytyck said he has always been accepting of taking anti-psychotic medication. At the time of Russell’s death, Kachkar was having difficulties with his marriage and was in financial trouble. She said it’s important for him to be psychiatric monitoring for the rest of his life.

The crown attorney agreed with Pytyck that Kachkar should be given a conditional discharge with conditions, such as continuing to take his medication, seeing a psychologist every two weeks, seeing a psychiatrist every week and a clinician every week or two.

He also stressed he felt a publication ban should be placed on Kachkar’s address in Durham region because while there have been no encounters with members of the public in the past year, Kachkar was approached before due to the notoriety of the case. A publication ban would help minimize the risk of vigilantism, said the crown.

READ MORE: Toronto cop killer Richard Kachkar moved to lower-security hospital unit

The review board has reserved it’s decision.

After the hearing, Christine expressed frustration with the process and the fact that she only learned two days ago about the review board hearing.

“The board will offer him his conditional discharge. Every year I give a statement and it seems like it falls on deaf ears,” she said.

“I’m part of the process out of kindness, but not as a necessity.”

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