Brian Doyle, who killed friend's mother, asks for short-term prison release

A Newfoundland man convicted in the 1990 stabbing death of Catherine Carroll is asking the Parole Board of Canada for escorted temporary absences.

St. John's man confessed to killing during police sting after friend was wrongfully convicted

Brian Doyle, seen in this photo from 2002, was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of Catherine Carroll, 45. Greg Parsons can be seen in the background, on the left. (CBC)

A man who killed his best friend's mother, then kept silent while that same friend went to prison for murder, is asking the Parole Board of Canada for escorted temporary absences.

A hearing scheduled in July will determine if Brian Doyle will be granted short-term release for medical reasons, family contact, parental responsibilities, rehabilitation, community service and administrative purposes.

On New Year's Eve 1990, Doyle went to Catherine Carroll's St. John's home, broke in through a basement window and stabbed and slashed her 53 times.

Carroll's son Greg Parsons was tried for murder and found guilty. But in 1998 DNA evidence cleared his name.

Doyle, now 48, was sentenced in February 2003 to life in prison with no chance of parole for 18 years.

Greg Parsons was convicted of his mother's murder in 1994, but four years later was exonerated by DNA evidence. (CBC )

He was arrested after a lengthy police investigation in Ontario.

Police got Doyle to join a fictitious organized crime outfit. He agreed to run contraband tobacco and alcohol. And when one of the undercover officers told Doyle that he wanted his wife dead, Doyle offered to do it for him.

The undercover officers told Doyle that first they needed to know everything about him, including how Catherine Carroll died. That's when Doyle told them everything.

Inquiry exposed tunnel vision

The provincial government apologized to Parsons in 1998 and later compensated him, four years after he was convicted.

In 2006, an inquiry led by Justice Antonio Lamer concluded that poor police work and tunnel vision led to the wrongful conviction.

"The investigation and prosecution of Gregory Parsons became a 'runaway train,' fuelled by tunnel vision and picking up many passengers along the way," Lamer wrote at the time. 

Parsons is not yet ready to comment on Doyle's request to the parole board. 

About the Author

Ariana Kelland


Ariana Kelland is a reporter with the CBC Newfoundland and Labrador bureau in St. John's.