A former Mountie and school bus driver who murdered his wife in 2011 is starting to recast how the fatal interaction that landed him in prison played out, according to a Parole Board of Canada decision released this week.
In the document dated Dec. 12, 2021, the board denied Keith Wiens, 66, day parole noting he will “present an undue risk to society if released” and that his release “will not contribute to the protection of society by facilitating (his) reintegration into society as a law-abiding citizen.”
The document laid out areas of weakness in Wien’s progress since incarceration and where he has shown some improvement. One point of concern highlighted, however, was Wiens’s shifting view of the night he killed Lynn Kalmring, 10 years earlier.
In the 2013 trial where Wiens was convicted of second degree murder, a trial judge found that during an argument in their Penticton home, Wiens shot Kalmring in the face at close range. It’s believed he put a knife in Kalmring’s hand after their fight to support his claim of self defence.
The fatal shot was something the trial judge found instead to be “borne of anger fuelled by alcohol.”
Today, Wiens continues to admit he shot Kalmring though he’s started to deviate further from the self-defence story.
“During a meeting with (his) parole officer at the beginning of November 2021, (he) reported that (he) never admitted to intending to shoot the victim and that (he) would not admit to any intent,” reads the decision.
Wiens now claims that he “held the gun up, took a step back and the victim was shot,” reads the document.
Wiens does admit to illegal use/storage of the firearm but when asked directly, the parole board said he would neither confirm nor deny whether the offence was accidental.
“Members of (his) case management team express concerns with (his) new version of events, questioning your level of accountability and perceived gains,” reads the document.
“His current version of events is viewed as being in stark contrast to previous accounts.”
At the December parole board hearing, the board pushed him on this new account and Wiens responded by saying “either way (he) had pulled the trigger for which (he) took full responsibility,” according to the parole board.
The board told Wiens that taking complete ownership for actions involved and an honest assessment of the reasons why they were engaged was lacking.
“The Board considered elements of (his) account to be inconsistent and lacking in credibility, and this to have much more significance than (his) attempts to portray this as not having ‘dotted (his) I’s and crossed his T’s’,” reads the decision.
Wiens has successfully completed several escorted temporary absences for community service at different locations, with no concerns noted and he demonstrated positive behaviour during the escorted temporary absences.
An updated Psychological Risk Assessment completed in December 2020 indicated Wiens is in the low range of risk for general and violent recidivism. However, he’s in the high range of risk for intimate partner violence.
The clinician said Wiens had not internalized strategies taught in correctional programs and he is encouraged to address his outstanding risk factors related to domestic violence and relationships.
In early February 2021, the Parole Board of Canada ruled that Wiens can continue leaving his Ontario jail for up to 40 hours per month for community services. Wiens had already been granted escorted temporary absences (ETAs) in 2019 for community service work.
Wiens was sentenced to life in prison with eligibility for parole in 13 years.