Former Calgary basketball star who killed father not allowed unescorted passes from jail

Police car parked outside the home of Clifford Trusty. He was found stabbed to death in his Fonda Drive S.E. home in September 2003. Global Calgary

The Parole Board of Canada calls it “premature and unrealistic” to allow unescorted passes from jail for a Calgary man who killed his father nearly 14 years ago.

Shawn Trusty is serving a life sentence for the September 2003 murder of his father, Clifford, who was found stabbed to death inside a Fonda Drive S.E. home.

In February 2007, Trusty was found guilty of second-degree murder and mischief, as the house was set on fire to hide the evidence.

Court heard the stabbing happened during an argument between the pair, while the younger Trusty was on a weekend pass from a psychiatric facility.

He didn’t want to go back and had bought a plane ticket to Montreal.

At sentencing, parole eligibility was set at ten years.

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The former Mount Royal University, then known as Mount Royal College, basketball star was denied day and full parole in July 2013.

Trusty was granted several escorted passes last June, including six in the last six months to visit family.

According to documents obtained by News Talk 770, the Parole Board of Canada recently heard his case for unescorted passes, but declined Trusty’s request, citing several concerns.

The parole board pointed to mental health as being an issue since the crime happened.

One psychiatrist testifying during the trial that Trusty had “some form of psychosis,” but couldn’t give a clear diagnosis.

It wasn’t until 2013 that Trusty admitted he agreed with a report that he was suffering from schizophrenia. But the board still has its worries.

“Even today, you remain unclear as to exactly why it occurred; only saying you were under stress and angry,” the decision read. “Your insight is limited in this regard.”

Trusty was hoping the unescorted passes would allow him to visit with family – in particular his mother.

“You told the Board your mother has been a very important person in your life and you want to continue the relationship,” the decision said. “You told the Board your mother has forgiven you and even though she is still upset that you killed your father, she still loves you and you want to help her heal if there is anything at all you can do.”

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However, the board had reservations about the release, especially given that the offense he is in custody for was the murder of his own father.

“Although not suggesting that any other form of UTAs (unescorted temporary absences) would necessarily be authorized, the Board is of the opinion that applying for other forms of UTAs – for example personal development – might be a more suitable manner for this form of release to the community,” the board said.

“Although the plan is developed, and your behaviour has been satisfactory and family is considered an important part of your gradual return to society, the Board remains concerned that this form of UTA is premature.”

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