Shearing parole appeal denied for second time

An appeal for day parole from Bowden Institution by a British Columbia man convicted of a mass murder more than 25 years ago has been denied.

An appeal for day parole from Bowden Institution by a British Columbia man convicted of a mass murder more than 25 years ago has been denied.

David Shearing’s appeal was denied in a decision released Monday by the National Parole Board’s Appeal Division in Ottawa.

The decision was reached about 10 days ago but people impacted by the murders were contacted first before it was released to the public.

Shearing, who also goes by the last name of Ennis, submitted his appeal for review by an independent panel shortly before Christmas.

Shearing, 49, has spent 25 years in jail for killing six members of a B. C. family including two grandparents, two young girls and their parents.

Shearing’s first attempt at a parole bid was denied by a three-member panel at a hearing at Bowden Institution in October.

The appeal division didn’t give reasons for its decision.

“The decision of Oct. 22, 2008 remains valid and there is no change to the status of David Ennis’ case. He will remain incarcerated,” it ruled.

The division reviewed Ennis’ file and listened to the recording of the hearing. It also considered Ennis’ written submissions.

Ennis challenged the reasonableness of the Oct. 22 decision and claimed erroneous information was given at the hearing.

The division stated that Ennis “didn’t raise any grounds that would cause us to intervene and modify the board’s decision to deny parole.”

“We find that the board conducted a fair hearing,” the division said.

“The board appropriately discussed all the relevant aspects of your case in a fair and equitable manner and asked you pertinent questions,” the division said.

“In our view the board treated you fairly and gave you ample opportunity to express your views and present your case.”

“Mr. Ennis, the appeal division finds that the board conducted a fair risk assessment in accordance with the pre-release making criteria.”

The division found no bias.

“The board’s decision to deny day parole is reasonable, fair and supported by sufficient relevant, reliable and persuasive information,” the ruling said.

The original panel ruled that Shearing didn’t demonstrate remorse for the 1982 killings and hadn’t done enough to ensure he no longer poses a danger to society.

Shearing was jailed for 25 years and is eligible now for parole every two years.

In August 1982, Shearing shot George and Edith Bentley, their daughter Jackie Johnson and her husband Bob as they sat around a campfire near Wells Gray Park in central B.C.

He kept the Johnsons’ daughters, Janet, 13, and Karen, 11, alive for nearly a week and sexually assaulted the older girl before killing them both.

jwilson@bprda.wpengine.com