Accused in Mission double murder released on bail

The families of a couple murdered in Mission are questioning the decision by a B.C. Supreme Court judge to release one of their alleged killers on bail on Thursday.

Move angers families of victims Lisa Dudley and Guthrie McKay

Tom Holden is charged with first-degree murder of Lisa Dudley 1:58

The families of a couple murdered in Mission are questioning the decision by a B.C. Supreme Court judge to release one of their alleged killers on bail on Thursday.

Abbotsford businessman Tom Holden, 43, is awaiting trial for first-degree murder for his alleged role in the shooting deaths of Lisa Dudley and her boyfriend Guthrie McKay in their Mission home in 2008.

The case made headlines when it was revealed that an RCMP officer was called to investigate the sound of gunshots at the house, but never got out of his car.

It was later determined that McKay died instantly, but Dudley was left paralyzed and died shortly after paramedics arrived on the scene four days after the shooting.

Holden was arrested in July following a lengthy RCMP investigation dubbed E-Purfle, but was ordered released on Thursday until his trial.

The conditions of his bail include a $230,000 surety. He must also wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, submit to drug tests and is prohibited from having weapons.

The families of the victims, however, say they can't understand why a judge would deem Holden fit to release.

"I'll put it in four words - he's a dangerous man, period. And I think people should be cognizant of that," says Mark Surakka, stepfather of Lisa Dudley.

Guthrie McKay's mother is equally disappointed in the decision.

"I wish Guthrie would come home with an electronic device on his wrist so we could visit our son again, but he can't," she told CBC News.

When the RCMP arrested Holden, they alleged he played a significant role and worked closely with the three other co-accused to plan and commit the murder.

Co-accused Jack Woodruff, 53, has already pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without parole for 25 years. 

Bruce Main, 66, also pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter and was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Justin MacKinnon, 25, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and is in custody, awaiting trial.

Holden's trial date has not been set.

With files from the CBC's Curt Petrovic


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