After years of knowing the name of her daughter’s killer, Janet Leflar was now able to speak freely about the man who stabbed her daughter, Hannah, to death.
“We can finally say Skylar Prockner murdered my daughter,” Janet said as she expressed relief just moments after he was sentenced as an adult.
For more than two years, Prockner has been cloaked by the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
But in Regina’s Court of Queen’s Bench Wednesday, Justice Jennifer Pritchard determined a 10-year sentence wasn’t enough for the brutal stabbing of Hannah in her own home.
“There’s no winners today — nobody won anything today. She’s still gone,” Janet said. “It’s a hollow victory, but it’s a victory.”
Applause rang out in the standing-room-only courtroom, filled mostly with Hannah’s family and friends.
Pritchard acknowledged the “pain, loss and anger” they have endured as she began reading her sentence.
It means Prockner is sentenced to life in prison and will not be eligible for parole for 10 years. As a youth, he would have been back out in the community within six years.
It also meant the publication ban on his name was lifted.
In her sentencing decision, Pritchard described Prockner as showing little genuine remorse and even an indifference to his crime that “took effort and perseverance” to complete. He showed, she said, a “grandiose sense of self.”
She found it “troublesome” that he was so “sufficiently composed and quick-thinking enough” to dispose of Hannah’s cellphone and come up with an excuse as to how he injured his hand.
The defence had insinuated that the murder was carried out because of an adolescent fantasy and depression, but Pritchard quashed that stating: “depression drains a person — it doesn’t rev them up to commit a bloody murder.”
When Pritchard finished, the Prockner family — including his mother — yelled out “unfair sentence” and stuck their fingers up at the media waiting outside.
Prockner will return to court in August, where it will be determined how much longer he will remain in youth custody.
The teen was one of two people who took part in the killing.
The other boy, who can’t be named as a youth, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in February.
The Crown is seeking an adult sentence at that hearing, which is scheduled to run for two weeks in mid-September.
Janet Leflar plans to be standing in court once again and look her daughter’s killer in the eye.
“If this is the last thing I get to do for my daughter, then I’m going to do it,” Leflar said.
In early October 2014, Prockner hatched a plan to hurt – or even kill – Leflar’s new boyfriend, dubbing the plan Project Zombify. It involved friends of his luring Leflar and her new boyfriend to the “attack zone” behind a north Regina elementary school.
The teen and two friends would be waiting there to attack the new boyfriend. While Leflar wasn’t the target of the attack, Prockner said, had she been in the “attack zone” or tried to interfere, she would have been “collateral damage.” A contingency plan included using chloroform, which the teen was unable to get, to “knock her out” – he bought paint thinner to use instead.
According to the agreed statement of facts, as Prockner developed this plan – to be carried out on Oct. 31, 2014 – he also began to collect weapons, including baseball bats and knives. He also bought masks to hide their identities and covered an old pair of shoes with duct tape to make any footprints left behind unidentifiable.
But Project Zombify never happened, as Leflar broke up with the boyfriend targeted in the plan.
In subsequent months, Prockner tried to convince Leflar they should get back together, contacting her frequently over Facebook Messenger and Xbox. The agreed statement of facts said, “At no time did the victim invite this contact, nor encourage it.” It goes on to say Leflar did everything she could to make it clear to the teen she wanted nothing to do with him – and told him to leave her alone and move on.
Prockner also had friends keep tabs on Leflar. One went as far as signing up for the same driver training class as her, sitting where he could watch her, to report back to the teen. He told that friend to reestablish a dormant friendship with her to obtain information about her personal life and general whereabouts – all to be relayed back to Prockner. That friend agreed and rekindled his friendship with Leflar, hanging out with her and her boyfriend on one occasion.
After seeing Leflar’s posts and photos about a new boyfriend on Facebook, Prockner realized he’d never get her back, and in the early hours of Jan. 12, decided he’d kill her that day.
The agreed statement of facts said Prockner messaged one friend to bring a knife to school, but that friend claims he did not receive the message until at least one hour after Leflar was killed. He also said he was not made aware of Prockner’s desire to kill Leflar.
When that friend didn’t respond, the teen messaged another friend who responded “OK.”
The two took steps to make sure Leflar was home alone after school. Despite being puzzled by the invitation, Leflar met with the friend over lunch.
Leflar left the exchange visibly confused, according to the agreed statement of facts. She told her friend he’d wanted to hang out with her at her home after school – just the two of them. This made Leflar suspicious, even sending a message to her current boyfriend that she thought it was “random for him to ask to hang out” and “there’s something sketchy about it I don’t trust him.”
Leflar’s instincts would prove correct.
At 2:50 that afternoon, Prockner picked up his friend in his father’s truck. They drove to Leflar’s north Regina home, parking in front and slouching down to remain out of sight. They remained there until after 3:30 p.m., when Leflar arrived home.
Prockner, armed with a buck knife, entered the home after Leflar did. The agreed statement of facts states he was wearing latex work gloves, dark jeans, a camouflage jacket and a face warmer with a respirator around his neck.
As he entered the home, Leflar screamed and attempted to run away, falling to the floor as she entered the master bedroom. Prockner then stabbed her several times, with the last wound to the back of her head.
As he left the home, Prockner grabbed Leflar’s cellphone. He’d give it – and his knife – to his friend to store before eventually attempting to hide both.
During the murder, Prockner stabbed himself in his left hand. He’d later tell a friend he hurt himself hunting. After the murder, he told his brother what he’d done to Leflar and how his brother shouldn’t end up like him.
Prockner hid the knife on an abandoned farmyard near his father’s home. A few hours later, police showed up at his home and arrested him for Leflar’s murder.
Prockner apologizes at sentencing hearing
The final day of Prockner’s sentencing hearing included a first.
On May 23, 2017, after taking a long pause and a deep breath, he spoke out for the first time in court.
“I cannot apologize enough. I’m sorry and I regret it,” said Prockner.
Reading from a two-page handwritten apology, the 19-year-old killer said “I won’t let this happen again.”
Wearing a burgundy shirt and black jeans, Prockner claimed he was “not in a stable state of mind” at the time of the murder, and “would complete any and all programming to better myself.”
He only mentioned Hannah’s name once.
“Here on out, I’ll be doing good for Hannah.”
Through Elders, a chaplain and spiritual guidance, the teen claimed “I’m not a man of God, but a man of peaceful intentions.”
Turning to the direction of the Leflar family, Prockner said “I know you won’t forgive me, but I will continue to ask God for forgiveness.”
After he finished reading his apology, the teen sat down, wiping his eye.
Janet called Prockner’s statements “bullshit,” and said there was no actual apology as the comments were centred on him.
She said she will never forgive Prockner.
— With files from Sarah Mills and Lauren Golosky.