Day pa­role ex­tended for man who killed three peo­ple in 1991


CHATHAM Triple mur­derer Ja­son Shawn Cofell is cop­ing with the death of his fa­ther while be­com­ing more in­te­grated into so­ci­ety, specif­i­cally with a mar­tial arts group.

These de­tails are in­cluded in a writ­ten de­ci­sion by the Pa­role Board of Canada (PBC) to grant the for­mer Chatham res­i­dent another six-month ex­ten­sion to his day pa­role.

The PBC re­port in­di­cated the de­ci­sion to ex­tend day pa­role for Cofell, orig­i­nally granted in May 2016, was made at the end of Oc­to­ber.

Cofell, 44, re­ceived a life sen­tence for three counts of first-de­gree mur­der in the deaths of Jasen Pang­burn, then 18, and the teen’s grand­par­ents, Al­fred and Vir­ginia Critch­ley, who were all slain on Oct. 6, 1991.

Fam­ily mem­bers of the vic­tims pre­vi­ously ex­pressed anger re­gard­ing the de­ci­sion to grant Cofell pa­role, with one stat­ing he should never be re­leased and re­mains a threat to so­ci­ety.

“We are at a com­plete loss as to how one man can mur­der three peo­ple and still have an op­por­tu­nity to live as a free man,” another fam­ily mem­ber had stated.

The name of the in­sti­tu­tion where Cofell is stay­ing has been redacted from the lat­est PBC de­ci­sion. When he was first granted day pa­role in May 2016, he was in­car­cer­ated at the Beaver Creek In­sti­tu­tion in Graven­hurst, but was later re­leased to a half­way house in Peterborough.

Dur­ing Cofell’s most re­cent six­month day pa­role stint, the PBC re­port states an as­sess­ment for de­ci­sion com­pleted in Septem­ber in­di­cates there have been no is­sues or con­cerns. “You con­tinue to present as com­pli­ant with re­lease con­di­tions and main­tain a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude to­ward su­per­vi­sion, de­scribed as pleas­ant and co­op­er­a­tive with mem­bers of your case man­age­ment team,” the re­port states.

Cofell faced the sud­den death of his fa­ther in Septem­ber with his pa­role of­fi­cer re­port­ing he was still pro­cess­ing his grief and feel­ing shocked and sad­dened by the loss, ac­cord­ing to the re­port. He had pre­vi­ously been tak­ing reg­u­lar week­end passes to spend time with his fa­ther.

Cofell’s pa­role of­fi­cer re­ports he has been de­vel­op­ing more in­de­pen­dence on re­lease, and while spend­ing time with his fa­ther, de­vel­oped other com­mu­nity sup­ports, in­clud­ing with the mar­tial arts com­mu­nity.

The re­port in­di­cates Cofell spends time at a mar­tial arts cen­tre and is in­volved in tour­na­ments and pro­grams through the un­named fa­cil­ity.

Since Cofell’s last re­view, it was noted he has ob­tained his driver’s li­cence and plans to buy a car when fi­nan­cially able.

He also con­tin­ues to par­tic­i­pate in psy­cho­log­i­cal coun­selling. A psy­cho­log­i­cal ac­tiv­ity re­port, dated July 17, as­sessed that he was “a low range of risk for re­of­fend­ing ” or vi­o­lat­ing the con­di­tions his re­lease.

In the re­port, Cofell is de­scribed as “be­ing more openly and gen­uinely en­gaged in the coun­selling process, ac­knowl­edg­ing is­sues as they arise and be­ing re­cep­tive to feed­back.”

How­ever, there are con­di­tions that re­main im­posed on his day pa­role, in­clud­ing he not have any con­tact with any mem­ber of the vic­tims’ fam­ily, con­tinue psy­cho­log­i­cal coun­selling, not as­so­ci­ate with any­one known or have rea­son to be­lieve is in­volved in crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity.

Cofell, who is a for­mer mem­ber of the army re­serve force, is also not to as­so­ci­ate with any­one who is a mem­ber of the Cana­dian Forces, ex­cept with writ­ten au­tho­riza­tion of his pa­role of­fi­cer.

“It is the board’s opin­ion that you will not present an un­due risk to so­ci­ety at this time and that your day pa­role con­tin­ued will con­trib­ute to the pro­tec­tion of so­ci­ety by fa­cil­i­tat­ing your rein­te­gra­tion into so­ci­ety” the re­port states.

You con­tinue to present as com­pli­ant with re­lease con­di­tions and main­tain a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude to­ward su­per­vi­sion.

Ja­son Shawn Cofell, right, is es­corted from court in Goderich in 1992.


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