Nfld. & Labrador

Parole denied to killer in Samantha Walsh case

A man serving a life sentence for the 2000 murder of a Newfoundland and Labrador teenager has lost his bid for parole.

A man serving a life sentence for the 2000 murder of a Newfoundland and Labrador teenager has lost his bid for parole.

Michael Lewis, 23, was convicted of second-degree murder in the February 2000 death of Samantha Walsh.

The 13-year-old girl's disappearance — and the revelation that she had been strangled in a cabin outside her home community of Fleur de Lys— shocked many people in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Having served seven years in prison, Lewis was automatically eligible to apply for parole.

ANational Parole Board panel ruled Friday, however,that Lewis still presents an undue risk to reoffend.

"We always err on the side of caution and look at the risk to reoffend and the risk to the public," said Art Robson, the regional director with the National Parole Board in Atlantic Canada.

"I think it's clear from what's written in the decision that they haven't seen any significant change with respect to this particular offender's behaviour."

The ruling found that Lewis has not participated fully in the correctional plan set out for him.

The decision also states that Lewis has not accepted or acknowledged his crime, and said the board received reports that Lewis has been using drugs and gambling while in prison.

Lewis confessed to the murder, after initially misleading investigators who had been handling what was at first a missing persons case. He told police he took Walsh — who had not been seen for 18 days— to a cabin, where he killed her.

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