The father of one of two young men accused of murdering three people in northern B.C. this summer is fighting to view a video that features his son’s final statement before his death.
But a lawyer representing Alan Schmegelsky says the RCMP will not provide him with the video, which the father became aware of earlier this month and contains what Sarah Leamon says is Bryer Schmegelsky’s “last will and testament.”
Leamon says she is continuing to push the RCMP for access to the video so her client can grieve his son.
“As you can imagine, my client is extremely distraught,” she told Global News Sunday.
“He is very upset, given that his son and only child has met such an untimely fate, and he is simply seeking to get some emotional closure in this situation, just like any father would.”
The bodies of Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod were found near the northern Manitoba town of Gillam on Aug. 7. An autopsy determined they died of suicide by gunfire, and that they had been dead for a number of days before they were discovered.
The two men, both aged 19 at the time of their deaths, were the subjects of a nationwide manhunt for nearly a month after being linked to the deaths of Leonard Dyck, Lucas Fowler and Chyna Deese.
Dyck’s body was found July 19 south of Dease Lake, B.C., near a burned-out vehicle confirmed to belong to Schmegelsky and McLeod, who were charged with second-degree murder for Dyck’s death.
The bodies of Deese and Fowler were found four days earlier on the side of the Alaska Highway, more than 450 kilometres east of where Dyck’s body was found.
Leamon said the RCMP has told her Schmegelsky’s mother has either viewed or been made aware of the contents of the video, which police said detail how Bryer wanted his body dealt with after his death.
The lawyer is now asking why the same courtesy isn’t being afforded to her client.
“The question here is why the RCMP has chosen to exclude my client from viewing this video, despite the fact that he is the biological father of Bryer Schmegelsky,” she said.
“My client wants to view the video privately,” she continued. “He simply wishes to have this moment in private so he can view the video before it ends up being released to the public, if it ends up being released to the public.”
In an email earlier this week to Global News, RCMP said it is “committed to providing an update with regard to this investigation in a couple of weeks.”
Leamon also confirmed an email exchange between herself and the RCMP that was leaked to the media includes a commitment to publicly acknowledge the existence of the video at that time. She could not say how the email became public.
Leamon would not rule out pursuing legal action against the RCMP in order to gain access to the video, which police have told her is still part of the ongoing investigation into the murders of Fowler, Deese and Dyck.
“At this point, we’re keeping all of our legal options open,” she said. “We’re just exploring which avenue is the best for us to pursue in these highly unusual circumstances.”
RCMP would not comment further on the investigation Sunday.
Leamon said Alan Schmegelsky is not willing to provide any statements or comments himself, asking instead to have her represent him to the media.
—With files from Grace Ke and the Canadian Press
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