Pa­role board says Archie Bil­lard can be re­leased from cus­tody again

Cape Breton Post - - OBITUARIES/NEWS -

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.

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