Edmonton

Dangerous offender Leo Teskey will remain behind bars

Dangerous offender Leo Teskey was so sure he would be granted parole that he was making plans to live with his children upon his release.

‘He’s not sorry. Psychopaths do not feel anything’

A court sketch shows Leo Teskey during his dangerous offender hearing in 2009. (CBC )

Dangerous offender Leo Teskey was so sure he would be granted parole that he was making plans to live with his children upon his release.

But on May 29, Teskey was denied day parole and full parole, according to a decision just issued by the Parole Board of Canada.

The board determined that based on his violent criminal history, along with his negative behaviour and attitudes, Teskey presented too much of a risk to society to be given any freedom.

Teskey was designated a dangerous offender in 2010 after his November 2000 attack on Edmonton landlord, Dougald Miller.

The aggravated assault left Miller in a permanent "waking coma," before he died in 2016 at age 77.

Before his death, his wife Lesley promised she would attend all of Teskey's parole hearings as long as she was able.

"I'll be there every two years," Lesley Miller told CBC News. "I'll make sure that the parole board hears what he did."

So on May 29, Miller went to Edmonton Institution, where Teskey is incarcerated as a maximum-security inmate, to read in person her victim impact statement to the parole board.

Lesley Miller visited her husband every day in a care facility after he was attacked by Leo Teskey in 2000. (CBC)

She said it was difficult to be in the same room with Teskey again.

"Oh, it was really hard; really hard," she said.

The parole board heard Teskey had told his case-management team the victim's wife should "get over it."

"Oh the rage I felt was unbelievable," Miller said. "How do you get over that? You know, I miss Dougald every single minute of the day."

Teskey expresses remorse

According to the 10-page parole board decision, Teskey agreed during the hearing that he was a violent person and that some of his offences were "horrendous."

He read an apology to Lesley Miller. She said she ignored him.

"It just went over my head because he doesn't mean one word of it," Miller said. "He's not sorry. Psychopaths do not feel anything. And they're never emotional.

"And I know he doesn't even think of it hardly; just when he's confronted with me being in the room."

The two members of the parole board didn't buy Teskey's apology either.

"You have reported that you feel extremely bad for what you did to the victim and that at the time of the assault you were unaware of how badly the victim was injured," the decision stated.

"However, minimization of your offending is noted in your file. You have little insight into your behaviour and you lack remorse for your actions."

Leo Teskey is now a maximum security inmate at the Edmonton Institution where his parole hearing was held in May. (Correctional Service of Canada/Flickr)

The parole board heard Teskey continues to cause trouble and get into trouble behind bars.

In February 2018 he was reportedly naked from the waist down in a medication line while a nurse was handing out medication.

In February 2017 he lost his medium security classification when several items were found in his cell that staff thought could be made into stabbing weapons. Teskey insisted they were hobby materials.

The parole board decision noted that in June 2013, staff found a scrapbook in Teskey's cell that had a collage of pictures of young, naked children.

A 2016 psychological assessment noted Teskey had been diagnosed with an antisocial personality disorder with narcissistic tendencies, and that he met the criteria for psychopathy.

His risk to reoffend and reoffend violently were also rated high.

Even a community support person who attended the parole hearing to speak on Teskey's behalf, told the board that she was "floored" and "terrified" after learning Teskey was being considered for day parole.

"She did not believe it possible for you to be paroled from maximum security and stated that she truly sympathizes with the victim's wife," the decision stated.

Miller said she was reassured by the parole board's ultimate decision to deny parole to Teskey.

"A big sigh of relief," Miller said. "He's been incarcerated for almost 18 years. And they're keeping him behind bars so he can't hurt any more people. That's how dangerous he is."

She now has two years to prepare for Teskey's next parole board hearing in 2020.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Janice Johnston is an award-winning journalist in Edmonton who has covered the courts and crime for more than two decades. You can reach her at janice.johnston@cbc.ca or on Twitter at @cbcjanjohnston

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