N.S. man who killed friend and burned body gets full parole

A man who killed his friend and then burned the body to conceal his crime is being released from prison. Tyler Dane Berry shot Matthew Penney by accident at a New Year’s party in north-end Dartmouth in 2013.

Matthew Penney died at a New Year's party in Dartmouth

Matthew Penney was accidentally shot to death at a New Year's party in Dartmouth in 2013. (Facebook)

A man who killed his friend and then burned the body to conceal the crime is being released from prison.

Tyler Dane Berry accidentally shot Matthew Penney at a New Year's party in north-end Dartmouth in 2013.

Berry and another man then took Penney's body to Oakfield Provincial Park, near Enfield, and set it on fire.

Penney's remains were discovered the next day by someone walking their dog.

Berry was found guilty of criminal negligence causing death, indignity to a dead body and weapons offences. He was sentenced to 5½ years in prison.

He has been on day parole since April.

In a decision released Friday, the Parole Board of Canada decided he has made enough progress that he can go on full parole.

Parole board had reservations

However, the board had reservations about Berry's behaviour. Berry carried a gun in violation of court orders.

"The Board believes that your perceived need to carry a gun is directly related to being involved in the drug subculture," the parole report noted.

Berry is under orders not to consume drugs or alcohol, although he has a prescription for marijuana to help him deal with anxiety.

He must also stay away from the victim's family and anyone with a criminal history. The board said Berry has mental health issues and ordered him to get psychological counselling as a condition of his release.

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About the Author

Blair Rhodes

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Blair Rhodes has been a journalist for more than 35 years, the last 27 with CBC. His primary focus is on stories of crime and public safety. He can be reached at blair.rhodes@cbc.ca