Woman convicted in murder of Jennifer Horne denied day passes from prison

·2 min read
A family photo of Jennifer Horne is shown outside Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax on 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 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 been denied temporary releases from prison.

Ashley Elizabeth Haley, 33, and her partner, Desmond Maguire, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the December 2007 death of Jennifer Horne.

The guilty pleas came in 2010 and carried with them automatic life sentences. Both Maguire and Haley must serve a minimum of 25 years in prison before they can begin applying for parole.

Corrections Canada had proposed Haley be granted a series of escorted passes from prison in preparation for her eventual reintegration into society. But in a hearing last month, the Parole Board of Canada determined that Haley is not ready.

Haley and Maguire attacked and killed Horne in their Dartmouth apartment on Dec. 29, 2007. Horne had been lured on a date by Maguire before he and Haley killed her.

Desmond Maguire is shown before an appearance in Halifax provincial court.
Desmond Maguire is shown before an appearance in Halifax provincial court.(CBC)

In sentencing the pair in 2010, Justice Richard Couglan said "words are inadequate to describe the crime. [The] murder occurred as a result of a deliberate plan to lure [the victim] to her gruesome death. The nature of the injuries inflicted demonstrate a sadistic torture meant to inflict pain. The depraved acts committed are beyond human comprehension."

Horne's stepmother and father both filed statements that were read at the recent parole hearing. Both questioned whether Haley can ever be rehabilitated and spoke of how Christmas time is so difficult for the family because it is when Horne disappeared.

Haley had been approved for a compassionate release from prison in 2018 to visit her grandfather's grave. But the parole board noted she was transferred to a prison in British Columbia before she could actually make the visit.

The board said Haley's behaviour in prison has raised some concerns. In 2013, she was reclassified as a maximum security inmate after she assaulted the foster parent of her youngest child. That parent was herself incarcerated for harming the child.

Relationship with inmate

Another concern noted by the board is that Haley has entered into a pen-pal relationship with a man who murdered his wife and two children. He is not identified in parole records, but the board notes he is also incarcerated and Haley said she was attracted to him in part because he is another "lifer."

While corrections officials recommended Haley be granted the temporary passes, the board disagreed.

The board wrote in its decision that it is "not desirable" for Haley to be allowed out of prison at this time.

"We accept that you struggle with social anxiety and that it is difficult for you to trust others, but you have not demonstrated the motivation to change and gain insight into why you were able to commit such a violent crime through the program interventions made available to you in the institution."

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