January 5, 2016 7:50 pm
Updated: January 5, 2016 8:11 pm

Judge allows convicted wife killer from Calgary to apply for early parole

WATCH ABOVE: A Calgary man who killed his wife more than 20 years ago will be allowed to try for early parole. As Nancy Hixt reports, the chief justice ruled Wilfred Trohan’s rights were violated.

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CALGARY – A Calgary man serving a life sentence for killing his wife wants early release, and Tuesday, he won an important first step in achieving that goal.

Wilfred Trohan killed his common-law wife Joanne Kotyk in July 1995, when she was strangled to death in their home.

Joanne Kotyk

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Trohan has now served more than 20 years of his sentence.

Under previous rules, he could have applied for early parole after serving the first 15 years. In 2011, the rules changed – but no one from Corrections Canada notified him.

Tuesday, Chief Justice Neil Wittman ruled the lack of notification was a violation of Trohan’s rights under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The 76-year-old is now allowed to proceed with his application for early parole.

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The court has ordered reports on Trohan’s status in prison, courses and information about possible rehabilitation to be expedited; Corrections Canada has two weeks to complete the reports.

Then, a judge will decide if there is enough evidence for a ‘faint-hope’ hearing in front of a jury.

“We’ve obviously looked at the crime he was convicted of and more importantly I’ll be speaking with the two daughters of the deceased who I’ve already been in contact with,” said Crown Presecutor, Shane Parker.  “They’re keenly interested in the outcome of what’s gonna happen. They still are deeply affected by the loss of their mother. They mourn her still everyday and they’ve taken a great deal of interest in this. So I think they’re going to be active participants.”

If the jury decides Trohan should be eligible for early parole, the case will go to the Parole Board of Canada.

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