The family of Ann Lucas says her killer has been denied a transfer to serve out his parole in Stephenville, the same community where the murder occurred 16 years ago and where much of Lucas's family still lives.
Lucas's niece, Tracy McIsaac, said she has been notified that Robert Hilroy Legge's request to transfer his parole had been reviewed, and that he will remain serving it in St. John's for the time being.
McIsaac said she got the call from Correctional Services Canada on Thursday morning.
"She said the review is done and completed, and they know that the town doesn't want him here. They were made fully aware through the media," McIsaac told CBC News.
After hanging up the phone, McIssac said she cried "tears of happiness" and relief, but was also shocked.
"It actually worked. I didn't think it would actually work."
McIsaac and her family led a public campaign to keep Legge out of Stephenville, including a march through the town streets in October, after receiving word from CSC that Legge had requested the transfer.
Legge was convicted of second-degree murder in the killing of Lucas, a 56-year-old mother of two, on Sept. 21, 2003. He stayed behind bars until February, when he was first granted parole. That parole was renewed in August for an additional six-month period, and included the ability for him to travel to the Stephenville area.
'We'll march again'
Legge's request may have been denied, said McIsaac, but the door has been left open for future attempts. But bolstered by Thursday's news, she said the family will remain on guard and ready to make their feelings known.
"We'll march again. There'll be more people. We'll do more advertising, we'll get the word out," she said. "We're not going to sit back and lie down."
A bright spot in the public backlash to Legge's parole has been the community support for her family, she said, although she maintained the justice system itself is faulty.
"It's still an absolute shame and atrocity that people have to do this. A community shouldn't have to get together to keep a murderer out of their town — that should be taken care of by the law," she said.
"But since that is not happening, it makes me feel relieved knowing that our community is supportive of our family."
McIsaac was emotional as she imagined what her aunt would make of the protest efforts.
"I think she'd be very proud."
Legge's latest parole period will be up in February 2020. He must comply with a number of conditions, including not consuming or possessing alcohol and drugs, and must report all relationships, sexual or otherwise, with females to his parole supervisor. He is also not allowed to contact Lucas's family in any way.