The family of 20-year-old Jeffery (Jeff) Kraft of Ponoka, who died of a gunshot wound on Dec. 15, 2019 in Lacombe, are devastated and angry after the two people accused in his death were recently released on bail.
Bail was previously granted for 21-year-old Amie Rogers, as well as for 27-year-old Tyler John Campbell on March 3.
Both have been charged with second degree murder, robbery with a firearm and conspiring to commit an indictable offence of robbery.
Jeff’s family feels that an accusation of murder is serious enough that the accused should be kept in custody for the duration of court proceedings.
“Our justice system seems to work for the accused,” said Allen Kraft, Jeff’s father.
The Krafts say the justice system has now failed them twice, first with the release of Rogers, and now with Campbell.
The family feels it isn’t fair that those who allegedly took Jeff’s life can spend time with friends and family while the victim’s relatives are left bereft.
“My brother was so young … all we have are memories,” said Caitlin Kraft, Jeff’s sister.
The family describe their current feelings as hurt, broken, sad and angry.
“Life is a struggle. The pain never goes away,” said Caitlin.
Allen feels Canada’s justice system is “broken.”
The Krafts encourage people to write their local elected officials about their concerns with the nation’s justice system.
The next court date, March 20, is to set a date for a preliminary hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to proceed to trial.
The Krafts aren’t expecting the preliminary hearing to be before the fall, and say the whole process has been slow and agonizing.
“Trying to heal — not really heal — but coping with the fact that Jeff is gone is hard because it’s constantly brought back up with every court date,” said Caitlin.
The family says it will continue to seek justice for Jeff. They had t-shirts made with a photo of Jeff and the words “Justice for Jeff,” which they wear at each court date.