British Columbia

MP wants federal review of serial killer's move to medium-security prison

Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty challenged Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale in the House of Commons last week to review the case and to get back to him and the families of the victims.

Cody Legebokoff was sentenced to life for the murders of 3 women and a teenager in 2009 and 2010

Cody Legebokoff was 24 when he was sentenced to life. 'When somebody commits the worst of the worst crimes, I just think that they need to be held accountable,' said Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty.

A Conservative MP is calling for a federal review of the decision to move serial killer Cody Legebokoff from a maximum-security prison in B.C. to a medium-security facility in Ontario. 

Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty challenged Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale in the House of Commons last week to review the case and to get back to him and the families of the victims. 

"I just think that we need to be doing everything in our power so that we are respecting the rights of our victims and the victims' families," said Doherty, adding that the minister and prime minister have the power of review under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act.

In 2014, Legebokoff was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years for the first-degree murders of Loren Leslie, Jill Stuchenko, Cynthia Maas and Natasha Montgomery, who died in 2009 and 2010.

Legebokoff was 24 at the time of sentencing for the murders, which took place in and around Prince George.

"[He's] only just really starting his sentence, his four life sentences that he has, and then already he's being bumped down to medium security," Doherty told Carolina de Ryk, host of CBC's Daybreak North.

"When somebody commits the worst of the worst crimes, I just think that they need to be held accountable."

Only 2 families notified, MP says

The Conservative MP said he first heard about the move from the families.

"We had the victims' families reach out to us and and ask if there was anything that we could do to look into this," said Doherty.

He said only two of the families were notified. 

Legebokoff's victims: from left, Jill Stuchenko, 35, Cynthia Maas, 35, Natasha Montgomery, 23 and Loren Leslie, 15. (CBC)

Correctional Services Canada wouldn't comment on the specifics of the case, citing privacy issues. However, they said in an email to CBC that offenders are thoroughly evaluated and placed in facilities that can assure their security and meet their program needs.

"Rehabilitative efforts, leading to a gradual and controlled release, have proven to be a better way of protecting the public than keeping offenders in maximum-security institutions to the end of their sentence, and then releasing them into society without supervision."

'Is he going to be bumped down to minimum?'

In 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed Legebokoff's application to appeal his murder convictions.

The fact that he appealed indicates that Legebokoff has not taken responsibility for his crimes, Doherty said.

Doherty is also concerned that people in Ontario aren't as familiar with Legebokoff's name as British Columbians are.

"When I bring it up in Parliament, people have never heard of him. So the concern is that next year, when he is going before having his security reclassification, is he going to be bumped down to minimum?" he said.

Correctional Services Canada said that the security level is based on three factors — how the offender will adjust to the institution, the risk of escape, and public safety — and that the transfer of a prisoner to lower security levels is evaluated with public safety in mind.

Read more from CBC British Columbia

with files from Andrew Kurjata and Daybreak North