Absolute discharge for killer

There is outrage and concern from the family of a man who was brutally murdered after his killer received an absolute discharge.

In August 2010, Kenneth Barter murdered and mutilated Nathan John Mayrhofer in Vernon.

Barter was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Mayrhofer, whose dismembered body was discovered in an apartment on the 2900 block of 33rd Avenue.

The judge in the case agreed with the findings of a psychiatrist in the case, finding Barter not guilty by mental disorder.

Barter has been living in the community for the past three years, following four years in a psychiatric facility.

On Jan. 14, 2015, the British Columbia Review Board discharged Barter conditionally, stating he must undergo annual reviews.

Barter has now been given an absolute discharge – and Becky Mayrhofer, who attended the hearing, said her family is “completely furious.”

Mayrhofer said the family knew it was possible Barter would get the discharge after spending several years in treatment, but she has concerns about what will happen when he is no longer under such tight supervision.

Mayrhofer said the family fears if Barter goes off his medication, he could relapse into a mental health spiral.

“If he goes off his meds, there is a risk. If he does drugs and alcohol, there is a risk,” said Mayrhofer, adding the hearing was told Barter was considered a low risk as long as he is on his medication.

“As of today, he is considered low risk because he is not showing any symptoms of his illness.”

Barter is currently living at a facility in Kelowna.

Mayrhofer said her family is going to lobby that violent offenders be “mandatorily supervised as far as their medication” and be checked periodically to assess their mental health.

“We feel, for violent offenders, that should be attached to them permanently,” said Mayrhofer. “They can still go out and live their life after they have served their sentence, but mandatory checks to make sure they are staying on their meds and not becoming ill again.

“I don't want to see anyone else get hurt,” she said.

Barter applied for an absolute discharge last summer, but the board denied the request.

At the time of the 2018 review, Barter resided in a semi-independent apartment operated by a foundation that assists persons who have a mental illness and saw an outreach worker weekly. 

More Vernon News

Recent Trending


Send us your News Tips!

Soft 103.9

Vernon SPCA Featured Pet

Olive Vernon SPCA >


Castanet Proud Member of RTNDA Canada