Richard Bergeron denied parole again after 1974 murder of Moncton officers
Bergeron and co-accused James Hutchison were sentenced to hang for shootings
A man convicted of murdering two Moncton police officers more than 40 years ago has been denied full parole for the second time this year.
Richard Joseph Bergeron — who changed his name from Richard Ambrose — was denied parole on Feb. 1.
Bergeron, now 68, appealed the decision, but it was upheld by the appeal division of the board in a ruling dated June 29.
Bergeron and James Hutchison were sentenced to hang for the 1974 shootings of Const. Michael O'Leary and Cpl. Aurele Bourgeois in 1974.
The crimes started with the kidnapping of 14-year-old Raymond Stein, the son of well-known restaurateur Cy Stein.
Stein agreed to drop off a $15,000 ransom at a mall, after which his son was released unharmed.
Investigating the case, Bourgeois and O'Leary reported they were following a suspicious Cadillac.
It was the last time anyone heard from them. Three days later, their bodies were found in shallow graves just outside Moncton.
Granted parole before
Bergeron and Hutchison's sentences were later commuted to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years, after Canada abolished capital punishment in 1976.
In 2011, James Hutchison died in prison at the age of 83.
Bergeron was granted parole in 2000, but it was revoked five years later after he assaulted his wife.
In his appeal, Bergeron challenged the reasonableness of the parole board's decision and said it was based on erroneous or incomplete information.
The appeal division of the board said it does not have the jurisdiction to consider Bergeron's complaints about what he believes are errors in his file.
It said the appeal division also does not have the jurisdiction to consider complaints relating to the conduct of Correctional Service of Canada staff and management of the case.
This includes complaints that the institutional parole officer "lied" to the parole board and that the psychology department at the institution mishandled Bergeron's file.
Still capable of 'extreme violence'
The decision goes on to say that a review of the written reasons indicates the board found that Bergeron's "aggressive communication style made it challenging to assess your risk to reoffend," and that there was "sufficient reliable and persuasive information to reach the conclusion that you are still capable of extreme violence."
The board expressed concern that Bergeron believed he did not need any help on a full parole release and noted he had difficulties working with his case management team.
You are still capable of extreme violence.- Appeal decision of parole board
It also pointed out prior convictions, including property and drug-related offences and a conviction for robbery with violence.
Bergeron also escaped from a federal institution in 1980 and received a conviction of prison breach.
According to a psychological risk assessment dated Sept. 21, 2016, Bergeron told the psychologist he had limited short-term and long-term memory.
It said that at the hearing, "you told the board you did not shoot the police officers and that your role was limited to burying their bodies."
The appeal division also noted Bergeron's Métis background and his involvement with Aboriginal spirituality.
The document said the board was aware of the positive aspects of the case, including escorted temporary absences to a healing village and Bergeron's positive relationship with the institutional elder.
But the board gave more weight to the nature and severity of the murder conviction, the fact that Bergeron is assessed as a moderate to high risk for general and violent offending, and his behaviour, which continues to demonstrate aggression.
Correctional Service of Canada's opinion is that Bergeron needs a more gradual release involving more escorted temporary absences and a transfer to a lower security institution.