Parole board says Archie Billard can be released from custody again
HALIFAX (CP) — He killed a Halifax teacher’s aide after he ran a red light in a stolen car and was arrested just four months after he got out of prison for driving without a licence.
But Archie Billard says his “stupid” decision shouldn’t keep him from getting out of prison again and the National Parole Board agrees.
“The board in no way condones your decision to drive without a licence,” the two-member panel wrote in a decision released Wednesday. “However, your decision to do so was not similar to your past history of fleeing police while impaired and endangering life.
“The circumstances of this incident do not cause the board to conclude your risk is no longer man- ageable in the community. Hence, your suspension is cancelled.”
Billard was 16 and high on drugs on the afternoon of Oct. 14, 2004, when he ran a red light in a stolen car in west-end Halifax and killed Theresa McEvoy, a native of Cape Breton.
He eventually pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing McEvoy’s death and dangerous driving causing death. He was sentenced as an adult in January 2006 to a 54-month term.
The case and the circumstances surrounding it — just days before the fatal crash, Billard was released from custody on charges related to a police chase — led to a provincial inquiry. It recommended changes to the federal Youth Criminal Justice Act.