Steven Douglas Skinner is out of prison on full parole after fatally shooting another man in Nova Scotia and spending five years as a fugitive in South America.
The Parole Board of Canada granted the man full parole in mid-February, after he met day parole expectations and made changes to mitigate the risk of reoffending, it said.
Skinner was sentenced to 11 years in prison for manslaughter in September 2019 after shooting Stacey Adams in Lake Echo, N.S., in April of 2011.
He was initially charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty to the manslaughter charge after a deal was struck between Crown prosecutors and his defence lawyer. At the time of his sentencing, Skinner was given five years credit for the time he spent in custody awaiting trial, leaving six years to serve on his prison sentence.
After an international warrant was issued for Skinner’s arrest shortly after Adams was killed, he was accused of being a drug cartel “kingpin” by South American authorities. Skinner denied that allegation at a Parole Board of Canada hearing in the fall of 2021.
In October 2021, he was granted a six-month day parole with strict conditions, including living in a halfway house he had to return to nightly.
‘Keeping a low profile’
In a Parole Board of Canada decision dated Feb. 15, Skinner was granted full parole.
In its reasons for that decision, the board said Skinner grew up in a positive household and his family remains supportive of him. He began using alcohol and drugs as a teen, and was under the influence when he committed the offence.
The board said 2019 victim impact statements revealed the “grief and anguish suffered by the members of the victim’s family as a result of (Skinner’s) actions.”
Over the years, he’s had several convictions for assault, and some dismissed charges for mischief and drug-related offences.
The Correctional Service of Canada, in its assessments of Skinner, had determined his levels of accountability and motivation are high, and his ability to manage his risk factors was rated as moderate.
Skinner has been in the community on day parole, with leave authorizations, since November 2021.
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“You are living with your intimate partner and her daughter in this residence with no issues noted,” read the decision.
“You have been gainfully employed and contributing to your household. It is noted that you have been following your correctional plan and keeping a low profile.”
His full parole comes with strict conditions, however. They include:
- Not to consume, purchase or possess alcohol.
- Not to consume, purchase or possess drugs other than prescribed medication taken as prescribed and over-the-counter drugs taken as recommended by the manufacturer.
- Not to associate or communicate with any person you know or have reason to believe is involved in criminal activity.
- No direct or indirect contact with any member of the victim’s family.
The parole board also said in its decision that local police “are strongly opposed” to Skinner being granted full parole and the weight of his crime showed what he is capable of doing, should he reoffend.
But the board said Skinner successfully completed his day parole expectations and is making measurable changes to further mitigate his risk to reoffend.
The full parole was effective immediately, on Feb. 15.
— with files from The Canadian Press.