The parents of Vernon beating victim Jason Hardy, 42, are raising questions about why a man who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with their son’s death was out on parole.
The Hardys are speaking out after Tal Kalum La Riviere broke curfew in Prince George and a Canada-wide warrant was issued for his arrest.
The 31-year-old was arrested on Monday in Alberta, more than two weeks after the warrant was issued.
His arrest comes after police put out an appeal for information that said the parolee “should be considered violent.”
“I think it has been very hard for us to understand why he was on day parole if he was considered to be so dangerous,” said Jason’s mother, Connie Hardy, in an interview from her home in Ontario.
“We were happy we were notified immediately about his breach of parole. Even though he resides in another province we were very apprehensive.”
WATCH (EXTENDED): Former Parole Board of Canada member explains hearing process (October 2018)
Jason Hardy was found dead in Vernon’s Polson Park in August 2015.
Parole board documents show that Hardy was beaten to death after La Riviere and Hardy and two others got into an argument “over money related to a drug transaction.”
La Riviere was sentenced to five years after pleading guilty to manslaughter in October 2017.
However, with credit for time served, La Riviere had less than two years left in his prison term after his sentencing date.
Less than a year after he was sentenced, La Riviere was granted day parole in the summer of 2018.
In its decision granting day parole, the Parole Board of Canada listed La Riviere’s recent sobriety, his attendance at prison programs, his good behavior since the beginning of his sentence, his motivation not to commit further crimes and his “well structured” release plan as reasons for allowing La Riviere out on day parole.
However, the parole board also said La Riviere’s “lengthy and escalating history of violent criminal behavior” was a concern.
Ultimately, when it granted day parole last summer, the parole board decided the positives in La Riviere’s case outweighed the negatives.
“A kind, caring person”
Hardy’s parents said hearing a warrant had been issued for La Riviere brought up sad thoughts and feelings about their son’s death.
“Jason was a very kind, caring person,” Connie said.
“He is our son and we know he had that battle with the two worlds we always called it…but we know what kind of a person he was and we know how kind he was and caring.”
Parole board documents note Hardy had his own challenges with addiction, but was about to go back to his home province of Ontario with the aim of addressing them when he was killed.
La Riviere told the parole board he had been drinking the day of Hardy’s death and as a result doesn’t remember parts of the incident.