Woman convicted in murder of Jennifer Horne denied prison passes for second time

·2 min read
A family photo of Jennifer Horne is shown outside Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax on Friday, June 11, 2010.  (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press - image credit)
A family photo of Jennifer Horne is shown outside Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax on Friday, June 11, 2010. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press - image credit)

A Nova Scotia woman who participated in the torture and murder of another woman more than 13 years ago has failed in her latest attempt to get out of prison on temporary passes.

Ashley Elizabeth Haley, 34, and Desmond Maguire, her partner at the time, pleaded guilty to killing Jennifer Horne in December 2007.

Haley and Maguire attacked and killed Horne in their Dartmouth apartment. Horne had been lured on a date by Maguire before he and Haley killed her.

The guilty pleas came with automatic life sentences and they each must serve a minimum of 25 years in prison before they can begin applying for parole.

Corrections Canada recommended passes

But Corrections Canada had recommended Haley receive passes for escorted excursions to help her prepare for an eventual life outside of prison. But the Parole Board of Canada disagreed and Haley was denied in a decision released this spring.

She appealed that denial. In a decision released late last month, the Parole Board of Canada's appeals division denied her request again.

In the appeal hearing, Haley challenged aspects of the original decision.

She disputed the characterization of her relationship with Maguire as "dysfunctional." She said the relationship was "physically, emotionally, sexually and financially abusive."

She also said she was a victim of sexual and intimate partner violence. The appeal board noted that Haley had voluntarily ended her relationship with Maguire.

Haley listed her accomplishments while in prison, including academic upgrading and psychological counselling.

Appeal panel noted concerns

The appeal panel agreed that releasing Haley on escorted temporary absences, or ETAs, would not pose an undue risk to society and that her recent behaviour in prison did not preclude such releases.

But the appeal panel also noted concerns over Haley's resistance to certain group programming and institutions and the fact she had entered what the panel described as a "high risk" relationship.

That relationship is with another inmate who is also serving a life sentence for "a highly violent offence" — murdering his wife and two children.

In its decision in April, the original parole board panel described them as pen pals. They have been corresponding by letter for four years.

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