A man serving a life sentence for the brutal slaying of a woman in Terrace in 1998 has been released on day parole near Prince George.
Christopher Maurice Alexander, now 40, was convicted of second-degree murder in 2002 for the Dec. 9, 1998, killing of 36-year-old Linda LeFranc and has sought release since 2008 when his seven-year parole ban concluded.
His case was reviewed by Canada’s Parole Board in August, being granted day leave on Aug, 26, effecting Sept. 13.
The parole is for a period of six months without authorization for overnight leave. He is not allowed to visit Kitimat, Terrace, Burnaby or Vancouver Island without prior, written permission from his parole supervisor. After the six months, his case will be reviewed.
“Shocked” by the parole board’s decision, LeFranc’s sister Anita Johnstone who was present virtually for the hearing, told Black Press Media that a criminal conviction of a life sentence should be a final decision that provides closure to the families.
“Instead we have fought annually for years to try and prevent an untreated offender from being released into our communities, only to have the system release him to reoffend,” said Johntstone.
Johnstone said she was informed by the Parole Board that Alexander will reside at Kenneth Creek Camp (Aghelh-Nebun) a halfway house located near Prince George.
In Dec. 1998, then 17-year-old Alexander, entered LeFranc’s house using a key hidden outside the front door and stabbed the victim 83 times. Her body was found by her seven-year-old daughter.
Alexander was arrested in Terrace in 1999 and sentenced in 2002 to life in prison after he was found guilty of the second-degree murder of LeFranc, who was his neighbour on Braun St. in Terrace.
This isn’t the first time Alexander has been granted day parole.
In 2015, after spending half of his 13 years behind bars at the minimum security Kwìkwèxwelhp Healing Village in the Fraser Valley, Alexander was granted day parole and released to a nearby halfway house.
In June 2016, Alexander was arrested by Abbotsford police and charged with two counts of sexual assault.
Those charges were stayed, however, when the alleged victim was either unable or unwilling to testify.
Since then, the parole board has denied multiple appeals for day parole, but in 2019 the board authorized escorted temporary absences for community service.
Alexander’s psychological assessment from 2020 assessed him at a “moderate risk to reoffend” while another assessment put him as a”high risk to offend.”
These concerns were taken into account by board members according to his Aug. 26 parole decision records.
While making the decision, the board weighed other factors, such as Alexander accepting responsibility for LeFranc’s murder, maintaining sobriety, developing greater insight, completing a number of programs and his commitment to stay involved in his Indigenous spirituality among other aspects of his rehabilitation efforts.
“Once again, it’s an example of our criminal justice system being more concerned with offenders’ rights, Christopher Alexander’s rights than that of Linda’s rights, the risk he poses to public safety and our right to be safe from Christopher Alexander and those offenders like him,” said Johnstone.
“How many more innocent victims must suffer or die as a result of the system’s leniency and lack of due diligence in monitoring violent untreated offenders released back into society?”
READ MORE: Family unshakable in plea to keep LeFranc’s killer in prison
-With files from Quinn Bender
Binny Paul, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Terrace Standard