Arenburg to remain in jail

Killer of Ottawa sportscaster, arrested for

border guard assault, must wait for bail hearing

December 3, 2007  12:20 p.m.


Jeffrey Arenburg, the killer of Ottawa sportscaster Brian Smith in 1995, will remain in a Buffalo jail until the end of the week after being arrested at the U.S. border for assaulting a federal officer. (File photo)

The paranoid schizophrenic who shot dead an Ottawa sportscaster in 1995 will be in a Buffalo jail until at least Friday, when he’s to appear at his bail hearing, the Sun has learned.

Arenburg was arrested Thursday after it’s alleged he punched U.S. border officer in the mouth trying to cross the border.

Officials at the U.S. Attorney’s office said Arenburg is considered dangerous and a flight risk.

Arenburg, 51, was trying to enter the U.S. on a commercial bus when it was stopped for inspection on Thursday. He was questioned by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer and said he was heading to Buffalo to do some shopping.

A records check showed Arenburg had been previously denied entry into the United States "numerous" times because of prior criminal convictions in Canada.

It's alleged at some point he punched an officer in the face, cutting his lip, said Kevin Corsaro, U.S. customs public affairs officer. Arenburg faces a felony charge of assaulting the federal officer.

"He was immediately taken into custody," said Corsaro, adding Arenburg is known to the border officers because of his previous attempts to get into the U.S.

The officer was taken to hospital for treatment to a cut lip.

On Aug. 1, 1995, Arenburg, a diagnosed schizophrenic, killed CTV sportscaster Brian Smith with a .22-calibre rifle as Smith walked out of the CJOH building after the 6 p.m. newscast. Arenburg was charged with first-degree murder.

In April 1997, he was found not criminally responsible for Smith's death, on account of his mental disorder, and sent to a secure mental health facility at Penetanguishene.

Last November, the Ontario Review Board gave Arenburg an absolute discharge, lifting all conditions, including checking in weekly with a psychiatrist. In February, the Ontario Attorney General's office decided not to appeal the decision because there was no legal basis to challenge the ruling.

At the time, Smith's widow Alana Kainz spoke out against Arenburg's discharge because she felt he still posed a risk to the public and himself.

Kainz said she couldn't help but have an "I told you so" attitude when she heard of Thursday's alleged incident.

"He should not have been released so quickly without restrictions," she said, adding she hopes Arenburg gets help while he's in custody.