Parole board grants unescorted passes to former Calgary basketball player who murdered his father

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

A Calgary man who killed his father more than 14 years ago is getting some new freedoms.

Shawn Trusty stabbed his father to death in their Fonda Drive S.E. home in September 2003, then set the house on fire.

Court heard the former basketball star from Mount Royal University, known then as Mount Royal College, was certified under the Mental Health Act and was on a weekend pass from the psychiatric facility.

He had purchased an airline ticket to another city, but when his father confronted him about it, he stabbed him repeatedly.

After setting the fire, he stole his father’s car, drove to the airport and boarded the flight he had booked, but was later arrested trying to cross the border.

Trusty was eventually found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years.

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Last May, the Parole Board of Canada called it “premature and unrealistic” for Trusty to get unescorted temporary absences from jail.

The concern was that the majority of time would have been spent with his family, despite the severity and target of his crime.

In a January hearing, the board agreed to an altered request, with a multi-stage approach to the releases. They are more aimed at personal development.

“You are now assessed as highly-motivated and your level of accountability and reintegration potential have increased to medium,” the board said in a decision obtained by Global News.

“With respect to the unescorted temporary absences plan, you said you agree with the plan for a gradual exposure to the community beginning with 24-hour passes,” the board continued. “You plan to meet the staff at the parole office, bring your mother to the halfway house and get some exposure to the halfway house where you want to live until you get full parole.”

The board also heard about recent psychological assessments and other tests to get more insight into Trusty’s state of mind.

“You emphasized you were angry at your life when you killed your father, but have not been angry at your family,” the decision read.

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The panel did have some reservations, like it did in the past, about Trusty’s insights into his crimes.

“While in therapy, you have expressed a desire to stop taking your medication once in the community,” the board said. “Your insight into the link between your mental health and your violence appears to be limited.”

The passes have been approved for six months, and will begin at 24 hours for two months and will eventually increase to 48 hours and 72 hours, before they are reviewed again by the board.

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