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No halfway house reprieve for man who murdered B.C. cop 31 years ago

No halfway house reprieve for man who murdered B.C. cop 31 years ago
Canada
VANCOUVER -- Four decades after he escaped the hangman s noose, a convicted murderer has been told he no longer needs the structure of a Vancouver Island halfway house and must find his own home.

Elery Long, 70, has a pension and can afford reasonable housing, the Parole Board of Canada said in a recent decision.

Long shot Delta police Staff Sgt. Ron McKay in 1974, was convicted the following year but his death sentence was later commuted to life without the chance of parole for 25 years when the death penalty was abolished.

In March, the board granted Long full parole but imposed a six-month residency condition, requiring him to remain in a community residential facility in an unnamed city.

He subsequently wrote the board two letters, saying he was stressed and struggling with rejection because he couldn t find non-profit or seniors housing and feared being a failure.

The board said Long s case management team did not support his request.

"Your CMT suggests it is not appropriate for you to live a lifestyle devoid of rent and bills simply because you are serving a life sentence when other seniors in the community do not have such an opportunity," the board wrote in its decision.

It said Long needs to lower his standards and find a home in a less-desirable area, is capable of avoiding negative influences and has a support network.

Long s parole officer is confident he will be able to deal with stress in a "pro-social manner," the board found.

A 2011 psychological assessment also found Long was a low or moderate risk to reoffend and was suitable for full parole.

Long was granted day parole in 2000 and full parole two years later but was in and out of prison for using drugs and associating with sex-trade workers and a known offender, the decision said.

It said Long s case management team has had no concerns since his last parole suspension in 2013.

Long appears to have not used drugs in years, has completed all programing, is abiding by his release conditions and maintains his health and fitness, the board said.

McKay was 47 when he was shot in the chest in Tsawwassen, leaving behind a wife and two teenage children.

The Delta Police Department s website said his wife Alyce McKay died in 2013.

Chief Const. Neil Dubord said Long s full or day parole has been revoked about a dozen times since his initial release.

"Elery Long has failed attempts to successfully reintegrate himself in civilized society even with the support of a system that was designed to achieve just that," he said.
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