MP seeking review as Legebokoff moved to medium security

Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty wants the federal government to take a second look at a Corrections Canada decision to transfer convicted serial killer Cody Legebokoff to a medium security prison.

Doherty said he raised the issue this week in the House of Commons when he "specifically challenged" federal public safety ministry Ralph Goodale to review the transfer, which he said occurred on January 23.

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Sentenced in September 2014 to life in prison without eligibility to apply for parole for 25 years for the murders of three women and a teenage girl, Legebokoff had been serving his time in a maximum security facility.

In assessing an innmate's security level, Corrections Canada considers three main criteria for assessing an inmate's security level - how the offender will adjust to the institution, the risk of escape and public safety - but Doherty said the agency is also obligated to consider additional factors, particularly the seriousness of the offence.

"I don't want to run the flag up and set ourselves on fire for political wins," Doherty said. "This wrong and somebody made a mistake. They didn't do it maliciously, they followed their protocol, I believe, but I believe the protocol is flawed."

Citing B.C. Supreme Court Justice Glen Parrett's sentencing decision on the matter, Doherty said Legebokoff not only committed the murders but was "looking to destroy these four women."

"He has shown no remorse, he has accepted no responsibility on this and, in Justice Parrett's words, he should never, ever walk amongst us again."

The news has not sat well with the families of the four victims - Stacey Stuchenko, 35, Natasha Montgomery, 24, Cynthia Maas, 35, and Loren Leslie, 15.

On her Facebook page, Louanne Montgomery, the mother of Natasha Montgomery, says Legebokoff will take the opportunity to escape and kill again.

"Don't be fooled," she says.

Doug Leslie, the father of Loren Leslie, said he was dumbfounded when told the news.

"He should never be out of that little box, ever," Leslie said.

Only two of the families were notified of the transfer, although victims families are required to register with Corrections Canada to receive notifications.

In an email, Corrections Canada spokesperson Esther Mailhot declined speak specifically to Legebokoff's case, citing privacy law, but said in general inmates are "thoroughly evaluated and placed in facilities that can assure their security and meet their program needs."

"Rehabilitative efforts, leading to a gradual and controlled release, have proven to be a better way of protecting the public than keeping offenders in maximum security institutions to the end of their sentence, and then releasing them into society without supervision," Mailhot added.

She said a medium-security institution has the same security safeguards as maximum-security, but allows for more interaction among offenders.

Legebokoff can begin to apply for parole on Nov. 27, 2013 - 25 years after he was first arrested - and will be 45 years old at that time.

Moreover, he will be eligible for day parole after 22 years and, because he was arrested before the Conservative government eliminated the so-called "faint hope" provision, Legebokoff can still apply after 15 years for a reduction in the wait.

But the key word in all of this is "eligible." Legebokoff must still apply for early release, and the parole board can still decide to keep him locked up.

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