Yellowknife man convicted of murder, manslaughter, granted 60-day parole

Francis Yukon will be let out of prison for 60 days to attend an Indigenous substance abuse treatment program.  (Walter Strong/CBC - image credit)
Francis Yukon will be let out of prison for 60 days to attend an Indigenous substance abuse treatment program. (Walter Strong/CBC - image credit)

A former Yellowknife resident convicted of second-degree murder, two counts of manslaughter, attempted murder and several counts of assault causing bodily harm has been granted a 60-day parole.

The Parole Board of Canada, in a decision last week, granted Francis Yukon temporary parole to participate in an Indigenous substance abuse treatment program.

The board denied Yukon full parole.

Yukon, now 48, was sentenced in 2009 to life without parole for 16 years for second-degree murder. Yukon first went to prison after he was convicted of manslaughter in 2003.

He was also sentenced in 2005 for manslaughter and assault causing bodily harm.

In 2010, Yukon and several other inmates attacked three other inmates. One of the inmates died of his injuries and the other two each had over 20 stab wounds. Yukon was convicted and sentenced for manslaughter and attempted murder.

In 2019, he and another inmate tried to fight another inmate and Yukon was found to have a homemade weapon.

Yukon told the board he used methamphetamine on a regular basis while incarcerated. He tested positive in 2019, 2020 and 2023 for methamphetamine and amphetamine.

Yukon was denied parole at a hearing in 2021, after the board determined that Yukon's "pattern of repeated violence" would put the public at risk if his parole was granted.

Yukon has been incarcerated in a minimum-security facility in British Columbia since 2022. He was previously at a medium-security prison.

During his parole hearing, Yukon explained he understood that because of abuse he experienced when he was young, he learned to distance himself from his emotions and "stay quiet."

He also said the use of drugs, alcohol and violence was a "normal experience" for him.

"In the community, you spent your days drinking, using drugs and trafficking in drugs in order to support yourself and your addiction," the board wrote in its decision.

Yukon said that after going to prison, his learned that his only choices were "fight of flight" to survive.

The board also said Yukon accepted responsibility for his offending, expressed remorse and "demonstrated a reasonable level of insight into the key risk factors that contributed to them."

According to the decision, Yukon completed "core correctional programs," including a national substance abuse program and a violence prevention program. He also updated his education.

The board noted Yukon's lack of violence for over four years.

The decision said that Yukon was separated from his parents at a young age and lived with relatives, where he experienced abuse and violence. He was subject to physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

Yukon was also placed into foster care as a teenager and has a history of substance abuse and domestic violence.

The board also said Yukon had been working with an elder and has participated in ceremonies and teachings.

"Your motivation level is high, accountability and reintegration potential are medium, and you are engaged in your correctional plan," the board wrote.

Yukon will not be able to leave the program overnight and must not consume alcohol or drugs, must attend the program, must not associate with those involved in criminal activity or substance abuse, must not have contact with the victims or their families, and report all relationships with females.

Yukon will return to prison following his 60-day release.