The mother of Lisa Mitchell, the Calgary woman whose body was concealed in the wall of her home after she was strangled to death, says news that the man responsible for her death was granted day parole “seems too soon.”
“We’re just going back to October when we did get the news that he got the extra time,” Peggy Mitchell told Global News on Tuesday.
Allan Shyback was convicted of manslaughter and indignity to a body in Lisa’s 2012 death.
Mitchell said she sent a victim impact statement to be read at Shyback’s Tuesday parole hearing but hadn’t requested to attend, partly because she didn’t know it was happening and partly because seeing him is difficult.
“I can’t look at him,” Mitchell said. “I didn’t want to be in a room with him there and he knows how I feel.
“It’s a mixed feeling because they’re doing their job and we don’t know… maybe he’s been a model prisoner, right?” she continued.
“Maybe he’s shown he can do this. But I mean… he took an anger management course to get the kids back and all this other stuff. Like, anybody can take a course or talk to a psychiatrist for five minutes or whatever and they think he’s fine when they’re really not.”
Mitchell said she would be at the next hearing in hopes that delivering her message herself might make a stronger statement.
During his trial, Shyback testified that he killed Mitchell in defence as she attacked him with a knife.
He said he panicked, put her body inside a plastic bin and cemented it into a basement wall of the Calgary home they shared with their children.
Last fall, the Appeal Court, in adding more time to his sentence, noted the severity of Shyback’s crimes.
“For two years, the respondent led the deceased’s family to believe that she was alive and there was some hope of her returning. He maintained this deception until the Mr. Big operation revealed the truth,” Justice Jack Watson wrote on behalf of the three-member panel.
“It was particularly cruel for the respondent to suggest to the children that their mother had abandoned them but might return one day, even though he knew she was entombed in the basement of the house in which they were all living.”
An undercover police operation began in 2013 and ended with Shyback’s confession and arrest in Winnipeg.
On Tuesday, Shyback told a Parole Board of Canada hearing at Bowden Institution in central Alberta that there’s no excuse for what he did and he misses Mitchell every day.
The board said Shyback will be eligible to move to a halfway house in nearby Red Deer, Alta., once space is found at the end of the month.
He will be required to follow a curfew, abstain from alcohol, attend programs and take counselling.
© 2019 The Canadian Press