Convicted murderer allowed unescorted temporary absences

Published on August 19, 2014

Scales of justice

SUMMERSIDE — Convicted murderer Kevin McMurrer has been granted six 72-hour unescorted passes into an undisclosed community.

The decision by the Parole Board of Canada was made on Aug. 13 and released to TC Media following an earlier request filed with the board for any decisions relating to McMurrer.

After reviewing McMurrer’s case, the board agreed to allow the unescorted temporary absences (UTA) over a six-month period.

“The board concludes that you would not present an undue risk to society during unescorted temporary absences for administrative reasons,” it wrote in its decision.

“Considering your progress following past difficulties, your overall behavior while under sentence does not preclude authorizing the absences.”

McMurrer, now in his 50s, was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to the second-degree murder of his ex-wife.

On Oct. 26, 1989, McMurrer walked into Midway Auto in Summerside where his estranged wife Carrie (Crossman) McMurrer worked and shot her three times.

Initially charged with first-degree murder, he would plead guilty in 1990 to the lesser charge of second-degree murder.

McMurrer was first paroled in 2001, revoked after he was found guilty of assaulting a woman with whom he had a relationship, and possessing stolen property.

In May 2007, he was granted day parole, which was revoked in December of that year after he contacted a female by going to her workplace.

In March 2008, he was again granted day parole, which was later revoked after what the board called an “accumulation of mental health, attitude and substance abuse related problems.”

An application for parole made by McMurrer in 2009 was denied.

Sylvie Blanchet, regional manager, community relations and training with the Parole Board of Canada, said UTA passes are used to help reintegrate offenders into society after earlier parole has failed.

“Correctional Services of Canada will work with them to try to re-establish a plan to get them back into the community if they can, usually starting with ETAs (escorted temporary absences) and UTAs.”

She explained once the passes are completed, and if McMurrer applies for day parole, the board will receive a report on his success or lack thereof while out.

McMurrer has successfully completed community services ETAs and received good reviews regarding his institutional employment, described by his case management team as being open and better able to utilitzed skills learned through various interventions. 

While on these passes, he will be housed in a supervised halfway house in the small city, the location of which the Parole Board indicated it cannot disclose.

The board also would not disclose the province in which the community is located.

Blanchet said the information would be disclosed to the victim’s family upon request.

The parole board has placed special conditions on McMurrer’s unsupervised temporary absences.

It noted considering the “dynamic of his criminality,” he must have a “very good understanding of your relationships/friendships with females in order to be able to adequately supervise you in the community.”

As a result, McMurrer must report all intimate sexual and non-sexual relationships and friendships with any females to his parole supervisor.

With a past history of alcohol and drug abuse, including prescription medication, McMurrer must refrain from consuming, purchasing and possessing alcohol or drugs other than prescribed medication and over-the-counter drugs must be taken as recommended by the manufacturer.