Hitman who killed boxer gets day pass from prison
GRAVENHURST— The hitman who murdered star boxer and reputed mob enforcer Eddie Melo and his friend outside a Mississauga café won a small victory in his latest attempt at parole.
Charles Gagne, 44, was granted a one-day escorted pass from a minimum security prison in Muskoka on Wednesday to do volunteer work in the community.
The parole board decision followed a strong vote of confidence from Steve Sherriff, the retired prosecutor who put Gagne behind bars for the 2001murders.
Sherriff told the parole board that he expected the worst when he first met Gagne, who has spent most of his adult life behind bars.
“I expected a Grade A psychopath,” Sherriff testified. “I know the breed . . . I became his friend. Who would believe that?”
Gagne was sentenced in 2003 to life in prison with no eligibility for parole for 12 years after pleading guilty to two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Melo, 40, and his friend Joao (Johnny) Pavao, 42.
Gagne was on a day pass for an armed robbery when he murdered Melo and Pavao for a promise of $75,000.
“You still have a lot of work to do,” Kevin Corcoran of the parole board told Gagne after he was granted one temporary escorted absence pass. “You have made some change.”
The one-time escorted pass was granted despite the emotional objections of a half-dozen Melo family members, who gave victim impact statements.
“They say that time heals all,” Melo’s widow Rhonda told the hearing at Beaver Creek minimum-security prison.
“I can now honestly say this is not true.”