A B.C. Supreme Court jury has rejected convicted murderer Allan Crawshaw's last chance for early parole.
The Chilliwack man is serving a life sentence for shooting his boss, Trevor Newberry three times in the head in front of a Sardis food-processing plant 20 years ago.
He is not eligible for parole until May 2018 but was in court in Chilliwack this month seeking to have that time moved up under the so-called "faint hope clause," which allows prisoners serving life sentences to apply for earlier parole eligibility after serving 15 years.
(The statute has been removed, but remains in force for offences committed before Dec. 2, 2011.)
A jury in New Westminster had denied Crashaw's first faint-hope application three years ago but left room for him to file it again after two years.
There was no such provision in the jury's decision in Chilliwack Wednesday.
It unanimously rejected his application, and the 66-year-old will now serve a full 25 years before being eligible for parole.
During closing submissions last Tuesday, defence counsel Donna Turko argued Crawshaw has spent years in jail learning to manage the paranoid personality disorder that led him come to work during a one-day suspension armed with three pipe bombs and a rifle, and shoot Newberry in the face at point-blank range in the Fraser Valley Foods parking lot.
Turko said the former union shop steward was still in a paranoid state at his 1994 trial when he threatened to kill more Fraser Valley Foods managers if workers didn't get a raise.
But he has made progress since then, Turko argued, and has completed every Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) program available to him to help him control with his personality disorder.
"There's really nothing more for him to do in prison," she said.
She also noted all four expert witnesses questioned about Crawshaw's psychological readiness for release agreed he could be managed in the community and that he presented only a moderate risk.
Crown counsel Henry Waldock, however, argued the question wasn't whether Crawshaw "could" be granted early parole but whether he "should."
Under the Criminal Code, Waldock told the jury, the nature of Crawshaw's crime needed to be taken into account when deciding early parole eligibility.
And he noted Crawshaw not only planned and carried out the killing but also "leveraged" and "magnified" its impact when he went on to threaten other Fraser Valley Foods managers in open court and to the press.
Waldock further argued that Crawshaw has yet to take full responsibility for his crime.
During the hearing, Crawshaw told the jury that he had not planned to kill Newberry 20 years ago and that the rifle "went off" when Newberry came at him in the parking lot.
Based on evidence from Crawshaw's original trial and his first degree murder conviction, however, Waldock argued Newberry's killing was planned and deliberate and that Crawshaw still only "repents of half of what he did."
"He may believe it, but it's not reliable," said Waldock of Crawshaw's version of the killing. "Twenty years of counselling, and I submit he doesn't get it."
© Copyright 2013