Killer denied parole again but can go on long leaves

THE MAN who murdered a woman here in 1998 has again been denied parole.

  • Feb. 8, 2011 12:00 p.m.

THE MAN who murdered a woman here in 1998 has again been denied parole.

But Christopher Alexander, who was 17 when he killed 36-year-old Linda Lefranc in 1998, will be allowed four 15-day unescorted absences within the next year.

Anita Johnstone, who attended the Jan. 27 hearing at Alexander’s detention facility in the Fraser Valley, said she was happy Alexander isn’t being given a full parole.

But she does question the unescorted absences being given to him.

“A report by a psychologist says he still poses a moderate risk. What’s that? He poses a moderate risk and he’s still being allowed absences?” Johnstone said.

Alexander was denied day parole when he applied the last time in Nov. 2008.

Despite his incarceration, treatment and taking aboriginal-centered programs, Johnstone is convinced he is not taking responsibility for his crime.

She noted that while on a work assignment at another facility, a sister of Alexander’s set up a Facebook account using his middle name when having access to the internet was not permitted. And she said Alexander was caught with a cellphone when possession of one was prohibited as well.

“He knew what he did was wrong,” said Johnstone.

She said the two-member parole board took just 20 minutes to make its decision.

“That was a surprise to us, that it took just 20 minutes,” Johnstone added.

Although the family has been through the process of a hearing before, Johnstone said it still found the experience stressful.

The family did organize petitions in Terrace and in Kitimat, which was Lefranc’s hometown, and also put one on-line.

“We believe that the petition of over 4,500 signatures presented to the national parole board was effective and would like to express our sincere appreciation to all those individuals and businesses that supported both our online and hardcopy petitions,” said Johnstone.

While Alexander may now go on unescorted absences, he must abstain from alcohol and drugs, is to have no contact with the victim’s family members, cannot visit Kitimat, Terrace or Victoria area, must report friendships or relationships with women and must avoid all contact with those involved in criminal activity or substance abuse.

Alexander was found guilty of Lefranc’s murder and sentenced to life in prison at a trial in 2002.

Alexander was arrested in Dec. 1999 after an extensive RCMP investigation that employed undercover police officers who first gained Alexander’s confidence in order to get him to talk about Lefranc’s death.

Alexander was originally charged with first degree murder and convicted of the lesser second degree murder charge after 16 hours of deliberation by a jury.

Alexander lived in a neighbouring townhouse to Lefranc. She was found by her seven-year-old daughter.