Randall Hopley back in court

Randall Hopley was given a break from his dangerous offender hearing in Cranbrook on Monday so he could attend his mother's funeral

  • Oct. 8, 2013 6:00 a.m.

Sally MacDonald

Townsman Staff

Randall Hopley was given a break from his dangerous offender hearing in Cranbrook on Monday so he could attend his mother’s funeral.Hopley, 48, faces sentencing this week for the September 2011 kidnapping of three-year-old Kienan Hebert from his home in Sparwood. Crown prosecutor Lynal Doerksen is seeking dangerous offender status for Hopley, which sets apart offenders of violent or sexual crimes who are deemed likely to reoffend and whose release is considered a threat to society. If Justice Heather Holmes decides Hopley is a dangerous offender, he would receive an automatic sentence of imprisonment for an indeterminate period, with no chance of parole for seven years.

An hour into the hearing on Monday, October 7, defense counsel William Thorne asked Justice Holmes to consider allowing Hopley to attend his mother’s funeral in Fernie that afternoon. Thorne told the court that Hopley’s mother, Margaret Fink, passed away last week, just days before she was planning to visit her son in custody in Cranbrook. Justice Holmes agreed Hopley could attend the funeral Monday afternoon, under the guard of sheriffs, returning to Cranbrook Monday evening.

The sentencing hearing was stood down to allow Hopley to travel to Fernie, and will reconvene Tuesday morning. It is scheduled to carry on through the week, concluding on Friday, October 11. During the hearing on Monday morning, Doerksen presented several psychiatric reports on Hopley, dating back to 1982 and 1983. At that time, Hopley was 17 years old. There had been a series of sexual assaults on three pre-pubescent children in his foster home. In the reports, medical experts stated that Hopley had a lack of empathy for his victims and didn’t appreciate why people were so upset by what he had done.

Two retired RCMP officers also testified Monday about a sexual assault Hopley committed against a five-year-old child in Hosmer in 1985.The dangerous offender hearing is a continuation of Hopley’s sentencing. On September 7, 2011, Kienan Hebert’s family reported him missing after they woke up and released the three-year-old son was not in his bed. An amber alert was issued and emergency responders from all over the East Kootenay rushed to Sparwood to take part in an extensive search for the little boy, who was wearing nothing but Scooby Doo boxer shorts when he disappeared. Four days later, an anonymous 911 caller reported that Kienan had been returned to his home. In the middle of the night, the little boy was found curled up on a couch inside the house.

On September 13, 2011, a police sniffer dog tracked Randall Hopley to a gravel pit in Crowsnest Lake, Alberta, near the abandoned cabin where he had kept Kienan for four days.During Hopley’s sentencing hearing, the court heard that Hopley chose the Hebert home for his abduction plan because he noticed toys in the yard and found the front door unlocked. Hopley also said he returned the boy because he asked to go home.

 

 

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