Partner of slain La Ronge restaurant owner fearful after learning his assailant is to be released

·3 min read
Cora Laich and Simon Grant.  (Facebook - image credit)
Cora Laich and Simon Grant. (Facebook - image credit)

Cora Laich is worried for her family's safety after learning of the impending release of a young offender who killed her husband.

"The first thing is I want victim services to install an alarm in my house and I want video surveillance," says Laich, whose husband Simon Grant was beaten to death at his Louisiana's Bar-B-Que restaurant in La Ronge in 2017.

Grant was attacked with a baseball bat by the 17-year-old young offender — who Grant had taken in to help the teen turn his life around — and two co-accused.

Andrew Bird, who was 18 at the time, was sentenced to seven years for manslaughter, and a 14-year-old boy was given a youth sentence of three years.

The young offender was given a nine-year sentence, but that was reduced this past spring to seven years. Now he's set to be released in December.

"My extended family that lives around here, like they're scared for us," said Laich, who has moved out of La Ronge.

"I'm not saying that this young man is going to come after us … but we don't know that."

Facebook
Facebook

Laich was told through the Crown prosecutor that the offender has gone through programming. She hopes he will turn his life around.

"But we've also discovered that while he's in there, he's got a tattoo all over his neck and he's got a teardrop tattoo under his eye," she said.

"You know, you want someone to come out and be reformed and everything, and you've got a teardrop under his eye? That's not optimistic for us."

Laich is frustrated the family didn't have any input on whether the offender should get an early release.

She said they first found out the young offender might be released through his Facebook posts from prison.

If Laich wants official information on the offender, she has to fill out a lot of paperwork with Victim Services.

"It's just another experience of grieving having to fill out the paperwork," Laich said. "Why can't they take the victim's name down. As soon as they have been convicted or plead guilty, they should get all the information that's necessary, and they should just be sending it to the victim."

Laich said she doesn't blame Victim Services, but that legislation needs to change to give victims more rights and access to information on their offenders.

"There's so many legalities that favour the offender and so many legalities that don't favour the victim," Laich said.

"My family is a fighting family and we go out and we do our thing. But what about families that are more reserved that don't have the communication skills? What happens to them?"

She said fear is always in the back of her mind.

"It doesn't ease your mind at all if you have no information whatsoever," Laich said. "I don't want my family to live like that."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting