A man convicted of murdering four people almost three decades ago – including an RCMP officer in Richmond, B.C. – has been granted more freedom from prison.
The National Parole Board says 66-year-old Steven Leclair can have two, eight-hour unescorted passes from a B.C. prison each month to visit his wife.
The board made the decision despite concluding Leclair remains “a high risk to reoffend violently both generally and in intimate relationships.”
“You do not have the support of your (case management team) and psychological opinion indicates that you still have deficits in emotional regulation.”
But the board also found that LeClair has not been violent toward others in the thirty years since he was imprisoned and he hasn’t had a drink in that time either.
“You have made gains through programming and although you struggle to express it, you do demonstrate some insight...
“The board concludes that your risk would not be undue on two eight-hour (unescorted temporary absences) per month to the home of your wife.”
On Sept. 20, 1980, LeClair walked into the Palace Hotel tavern, on Hastings Street in Vancouver, with a .45-calibre handgun and opened fire, hitting four people. Three of them died – two employees and a customer.
He forced a driver to take him to the RCMP detachment in Richmond, where Constable Tom Agar was behind the desk.
LeClair shot Const. Agar in the chest and Agar died at the scene. The 26-year-old father of one and his wife were expecting another child.
Another officer, Constable Wayne Hannigan, then exchanged gunfire with LeClair. Const. Hannigan was shot in the leg, but the exchange allowed another officer to arrest LeClair.
LeClair was convicted of first-degree murder and in 1998 a B.C. Supreme Court jury rejected his bid for parole under the faint-hope clause.
Prior to that, LeClair had already had a long record, including a conviction for stabbing his father five times in the chest and abdomen in 1970.
The parole board documents released Friday note LeClair has been married for seven years to a woman he has known for 15 years.
The board noted LeClair receives much support from his wife, who visits regularly, and there has been no violence in any of the 18 escorted meetings he’s had at his wife’s residence.