Nearly 14 years after David Bagshaw stabbed schoolgirl Stefanie Rengel to death, carrying out the demands of his jealous girlfriend Melissa Todorovic, Bagshaw has been denied day and full parole.
Parole Board of Canada member Savannah Gentile told Bagshaw after the three-hour virtual hearing that while he has made some gains, the board felt the 31-year-old still had progress to be made in assessing his risk.
Appearing via video from the Bath Institution near Kingston, Ont., Bagshaw told the two-person Parole Board of Canada panel that he is haunted by the fact he murdered the 14-year-old East York girl, a friend who he had briefly dated two years earlier.
“I’m disgusted at myself for what I did. I hate myself for what I did. I think about it every day. Thinking about what I did makes me think about what I took away from someone, what I took away from their family — it disgusts me,” said Bagshaw.
Bagshaw explained that when Todorovic, who was then 15, asked him to kill Rengel, his first answer was no.
“It went on for months,” he said, explaining he finally decided to carry out the attack because “she (Todorovic) called me and told me she was going to leave me for someone else if I didn’t do it.”
It was New Year’s Day in 2008 when Bagshaw, who was then 17, lured Rengel to come outside and repeatedly stabbed her outside the family’s East York home.
Todorovic was convicted of first-degree murder in 2009 for orchestrating the killing.
She and Bagshaw were both sentenced as adults to life in prison. Todorovic’s parole eligibility was set at seven years. Bagshaw’s was set at 10 years.
Since being incarcerated, Bagshaw has found himself in trouble with at least one violent offence.
In 2013, he was sentenced to two years and six months to be served concurrently, after being convicted of assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm of a fellow inmate at Millhaven Institution.
The parole board also heard Bagshaw was involved in an inappropriate relationship with a staff member, and falsely claimed to be the father of his fiance’s children on a legal document.
His parole officer described Bagshaw as “a work in progress, who struggles with acting impulsively.”
He said that while Bagshaw’s aggressive behavior has diminished, he obtained a secondary school diploma in 2013, is employed and has been cooperative with his case management team, a suitable plan for release had not been identified and recommended that day and full parole be denied.
When Bagshaw had a chance to explain why he thought he should warrant consideration for release at this time, he answered, “It’s hard to say after listening what she had to say on it. To be honest, I don’t know if I warrant it.”
Bagshaw admitted he grew up having severe anger issues and said on the night of the index offence, he was angry at Todorovic and himself. When asked if he was ready to be released, Bagshaw said, “I’m honestly ready to give it a try, but like I said in the beginning, I don’t know if I warrant a release but I want to try to show that I’m ready to do something positive with my life”.
Rengel’s mother Patricia Hung also delivered an emotional victim impact statement describing how the death of a child leaves fear and weariness.
“I’m secretly worried when my 18-year-old rides his bike to the park.” Through tears she told the parole board that the family still desperately misses Stefanie and the joy she would have brought to their lives.
Bagshaw will be able to apply for parole again in two years time. Todorovic was granted parole in 2019, but weeks later, her parole was revoked after breaching one of the conditions of her release.