Nova Scotia

Derek Wood, convicted in McDonald's murders, denied day parole

The man described as the mastermind of one of Nova Scotia’s most horrific crimes has been denied day parole. Derek Anthony Wood planned and helped carry out a botched robbery of the Sydney River McDonalds on May 7, 1992.

Parole Board found Wood was still too great a risk to commit another violent offence

The former McDonalds in Sydney River. (CBC)

The man described as the mastermind of one of Nova Scotia's most horrific crimes has been denied day parole.

Derek Anthony Wood planned and helped carry out a botched robbery of the Sydney River McDonald's restaurant on May 7, 1992. Three restaurant employees were murdered and a fourth was left permanently disabled.

Wood was an employee at the restaurant. He believed there was more than $200,000 in the restaurant safe. He and his accomplices made off with just over $2,000, but not before they shot and stabbed their victims.

In a hearing just last week before the Parole Board of Canada, Wood was denied day parole.

Your violence is unpredictable and usually occurs with no warning signs.- Parole Board of Canada documents

The board found he was still too great a risk to commit another violent offence.

"The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) has indicated your violence is unpredictable and usually occurs with no warning signs," the board wrote in a decision released Wednesday.

The board noted that in 2006, Wood assaulted two correctional officers, getting an extra year concurrent sentence.

Wood was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder, forcible confinement, attempted murder, assault with a weapon and two counts of assaulting a peace officer.

While in prison, Wood has upgraded his education and trade skills, including carpentry and training necessary to work on offshore oil rigs.

But the board noted that Wood has reoffended while in prison and spent more than three years in segregation during his life sentence.

"Of late," the board noted, "you have written a number of letters and requests to staff members that were seen to be disrespectful and belligerent."

One of Wood's accomplices, Darren Muise, wore a mask, suggesting he didn't intend for all the witnesses to be killed.

He has already been released from prison on full parole.

Wood's other co-accused, Freeman MacNeil, did not wear a mask. Like Wood, he is still in prison.

Wood was 18 at the time of the offence, he is now in his mid-40s.

The McDonald's restaurant was torn down.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.