Killer, de­nied pa­role, gets reg­u­lar leaves

Times Colonist - - Front Page - KATIE DeROSA

De­spite be­ing de­nied day pa­role in Septem­ber, Derik Lord, the man con­victed of killing a friend’s mother and grand­mother 28 years ago, has been granted reg­u­lar es­corted ab­sences, some­thing that has in­fu­ri­ated the vic­tims’ fam­ily.

Kim Hill, whose aunt Doris Leatherbar­row and cousin Sharon Huen­e­mann were killed on Oct. 5, 1990, said she re­ceived a let­ter from the Cor­rec­tional Ser­vice of Canada stating that a war­den has granted Lord es­corted tem­po­rary ab­sences in Chilli­wack. Since Jan­uary, Lord has been tak­ing two eight-hour leaves a month to visit his fam­ily, Hill said. Lord has a wife and child and his par­ents also live in Chilli­wack.

“We don’t feel we’re be­ing pro­tected when a con­victed dou­ble mur­derer who can’t ad­mit their guilt is walk­ing around,” said Hill, whose fa­ther John Kriss is Leatherbar­row’s brother.

“I don’t feel safe and none of the fam­ily feels safe with the war­den’s de­ci­sion.”

Lord was de­nied day pa­role for the 11th time in Septem­ber, largely be­cause he con­tin­ues to pro­fess his in­no­cence.

Lord, then 17, and, David Muir, 16, were stu­dents at Saanich’s Mount Dou­glas Sec­ondary School in 1990 when school­mate Dar­ren Huen­e­mann, 18, asked them to join in a plot to kill his mother and grand­mother. Lord and Muir were promised part of a $4-mil­lion in­her­i­tance.

Lord and Muir took a ferry to Leatherbar­row’s Tsawwassen home. When they knocked on the door, the women rec­og­nized them as Dar­ren’s friends and in­vited them in for din­ner. They used crow­bars and kitchen knives to murder Leatherbar­row, 69, and Huen­e­mann, 47, and then staged a break-in.

All three teens were con­victed of first-de­gree murder in 1992 and sen­tenced to life in prison.

Muir, the only one who has ad­mit­ted his role in the killings, has been on full pa­role since 2003.

Hill be­lieves that by con­tin­u­ing to deny his in­volve­ment, Lord is un­able to be re­ha­bil­i­tated.

“In not ad­mit­ting his guilt, he hasn’t had enough ther­apy to al­low him to ac­cept re­spon­si­bil­ity,” Hill said. “If he is still say­ing he hasn’t done it, how do you give him the ther­apy he needs?”

Hill, who at­tended Lord’s pa­role hear­ing in Septem­ber and op­posed his day re­lease, re­calls that one pa­role board mem­ber asked Lord whether if what he did was so hor­rific, he has blocked it from his mind. Lord dis­missed that and told pa­role board mem­bers he’s de­ter­mined to prove his in­no­cence.

Hill met with the war­den and sent a let­ter stating the fam­ily’s ob­jec­tions to Lord’s tem­po­rary ab­sences.

Hill said the pub­lic has a right to know that “Derik Lord, as much as he’s been de­nied pa­role, is ac­tu­ally spend­ing time in their com­mu­nity.”

An es­corted tem­po­rary ab­sence al­lows in­mates, alone or in groups, to leave the in­sti­tu­tion while ac­com­pa­nied by a cor­rec­tional of­fi­cer. Such ab­sences can be granted at any time in an of­fender’s sen­tence for med­i­cal, ad­min­is­tra­tive, com­mu­nity ser­vice, fam­ily contact, parental re­spon­si­bil­ity, per­sonal de­vel­op­ment or com­pas­sion­ate rea­sons, ac­cord­ing to the Cor­rec­tional Ser­vice of Canada.

In the fed­eral sys­tem, the re­spon­si­bil­ity for tem­po­rary ab­sences is shared be­tween the Pa­role Board of Canada and the Cor­rec­tional Ser­vice of Canada.

Tem­po­rary releases are typ­i­cally granted when the war­den or the pa­role board be­lieves the in­mate will not present an un­due risk to so­ci­ety.

Lord is el­i­gi­ble to ap­ply for pa­role again in Septem­ber.

TIMES COLONIST

Derik Lord in 2001. The con­victed first-de­gree mur­derer has been de­nied day pa­role 11 times.

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