THE FAMILY of Linda LeFranc, who was murdered here in 1998, is fighting her killer’s parole application for the third time in five years.
Denied in late 2008, the first time he was able to apply, and again this January, Christopher Alexander, 17-years-old at the time he stabbed LeFranc, 36, to death, has applied for parole once more.
“We are disheartened to say that Christopher Alexander has applied for parole early and must be reviewed by the parole board before February 2012,” said Anita Johnstone, a sister of LeFranc’s, last week.
She said the family believed it would have a longer wait from the last application.
Inmates can apply within six months from a last application and the parole board has to set a hearing date within six months of that new application being filed.
She said the family remains as convinced as ever that Alexander has not taken responsibility for his actions and should not be released.
“If parole is granted, Alexander could be released back into society as early as February 2012,” said Johnstone.
“Our judicial system is seriously flawed with offenders’ rights taking precedence over the rights of society,” she said.
Johnstone said the family does not believe Alexander is rehabilitated.
“I don’t think he’s capable of being reintegrated into society without reoffending,” she said.
Johnstone added that opposition to Alexander’s release is based on keeping the community safe.
Although denied parole this January, Alexander was granted four 15-day unescorted absences. He was on his third such absence last week.
At the time of the January decision, Johnstone said a psychologist’s report indicated Alexander posed a moderate risk.
She questioned why anyone posing even a moderate risk is permitted leaves.
Alexander was arrested in December 1999 after RCMP undercover officers conducted a sting operation in which they first gained his confidence by convincing him they were part of a criminal organization.
They then persuaded Alexander to talk about LeFranc’s death in the context of recruiting him to commit criminal acts up to and including murder.
At first charged with first degree murder, a jury deliberated for 16 hours before finding Alexander guilty of second degree murder one day after his 21st birthday in 2002.
His sentence was life but he was eligible to apply for parole after seven years.
Alexander lived in a neighbouring townhouse to LeFranc’s on the southside of Terrace. Stabbed 83 times, the single mother was found by her daughter, then seven years old, on Dec. 9, 1998.
The LeFranc family organized paper petitions in Terrace and in her hometown of Kitimat and online petitions the first two times Alexander applied for parole.
“We strongly believe that the petitions presented to the National Parole Board had a significant impact on the decision to deny Alexander parole,” said Johnstone.
The petition protesting Alexander’s parole application the last time contained more than 4,500 signatures.
The family is conducting an on-line campaign again at http://www.PetititionOnline.com/LGLEFRAN/ and is also distributing paper petitions in Kitimat and in Terrace.
The petition will be presented to the parole board at the time of Alexander’s hearing.
The petition has to be provided to the parole board 30 days before the hearing. No date has been set, but Johnstone said it will be before the end of January, making the deadline for signing the petition by the end of December.