B.C. father who killed his children admits taking life is illegal

KAMLOOPS, B.C. - A B.C. father who has admitted to killing his three children testified at his first-degree murder trial Thursday that he needed forgiveness from his children and God because killing is illegal.

KAMLOOPS, B.C. - A B.C. father who has admitted to killing his three children testified at his first-degree murder trial Thursday that he needed forgiveness from his children and God because killing is illegal.

Allan Schoenborn is on trial for three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of 10-year-old Kaitlynne, eight-year-old Max and five-year-old Cordon.

He has recounted the killings over two days of testimony in B.C. Supreme Court, saying he believed they were being molested and killed them to protect them from lives of drugs and sexual abuse. He has repeatedly said he killed for the "right reasons."

And he has told the court that he was comforted after carrying out the slayings when his dead daughter came to him in a vision and forgave him, which he believed meant his two sons forgave him as well.

At the end of his cross-examination Thursday, Crown lawyer Glenn Kelt asked the 41-year-old why he needed salvation.

"If you killed your children and did nothing wrong, why did you need to be forgiven by them and God?" he asked.

Schoenborn replied immediately: "Because the law says not to take life."

The children were found dead in their Merritt, B.C., home by their mother on April 6, 2008.

During his testimony, Schoenborn described slashing Kaitlynne to death with a cleaver. He suffocated the two boys.

Defence lawyers are arguing that the killings were the result of mental illness, painting Schoenborn as a loving but extremely paranoid father who believed he had to save the children from abuse.

Prosecutors, however, contend the killings were an act of vengeance against the children's mother, from whom Schoenborn was separated.

Schoenborn became angry when Kelt suggested their mother, Darcie Clarke, had ended their 15 year relationship in the days prior to the killings.

"Bullshit," he yelled.

"My relationship with Darcie was what it always was. You know, real, it was real, and we had some real problems, there was nothing we couldn't fix. But it was the ministry that was making the... decisions for us," he said.

Court has heard the B.C. Ministry of Children ordered the couple to spend time with the children separately about one year before the slayings.

Kelt pointed out that Schoenborn never reached out for help about his fears the children were being abused-not to police, the ministry or other family members - and suggested he didn't want anyone to interfere as he sought revenge.

"You knew after you killed the children that Darcie would find them, and that's why you set the stage for her to find her three dead children," Kelt said.

Justice Robert Powers, who is hearing the case without a jury, has heard that Kaitlynne was found wrapped in a blanket in her bed, where a message was written on the pillows in blood. The two boys were found posed cuddled together on a couch, with the message "forever young," written in soy sauce on the wall.

"That's why you staged those children as you did, so it would be a cruel trick for this poor mother," Kelt said.

Schoenborn repeatedly refuted the accusations, saying Kelt was wrong and that he didn't feel anger towards anyone but sorrow when the acts occurred.

But earlier in his testimony he said he was angry.

He recounted several incidents where he accused Clarke of cheating on him, including with her own brother. He said she always denied the accusations and reassured him.

Asked about the allegations of infidelity, Schoenborn said he felt angry, confused and certain she was lying to him.

"I feel angry, yeah, I feel angry because I can't get to a truth," he said.

Schoenborn also testified he had called Clarke two hours before their children's deaths and pleaded with her to come home, to which she said no. He told court that had she come to the trailer, he "probably" wouldn't have killed them.

While Schoenborn has testified that he repeatedly tried to kill himself after the killings, Kelt suggested that he didn't actually want to die.

Schoenborn man was found dehydrated with self-inflicted wounds to his wrists after a 10-day manhunt.

He will return to the witness stand on Friday for further questioning from his own lawyer.

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