Nova Scotia

Parole board adds conditions on release of teen driver who killed

A teenage driver who killed a Halifax teacher's aide nearly five years ago will be conditionally released after serving the full length of his sentence.

A teenage driver who killed a Halifax teacher’s aide nearly five years ago will be conditionally released from prison after serving the full length of his sentence.

However, the National Parole Board has reservations about releasing Archie Billard, who was sentenced to 4½ years in prison in 2006 after pleading guilty to criminal negligence in the death of Theresa McEvoy.

McEvoy, 52, was on her lunch break and returning to work at school when the stolen car Billard was driving smashed into her vehicle, killing her instantly.

Billard also pleaded guilty to dangerous driving while evading police. The teen had admitted he smoked marijuana with his friends before he drove the stolen car from Lower Sackville, N.S., to Halifax.

The judge, who handed the teen an adult sentence, took into account the 276 days he had already spent at the Nova Scotia Youth Detention Centre in Waterville, N.S.

Board says Billard's behaviour 'less than stellar'

In a decision released Wednesday, the parole board said Billard’s "behaviour since being incarcerated has been less than stellar."

The board noted that eight litres of bootleg alcohol were found hidden in a footlocker in Billard’s cell.

The board also noted that the young man’s "actions while incarcerated are not indicative of someone who has made positive changes in life."

Since Billard served the full length of his sentence, the parole board had no choice but to release him.

However, the board did attach some conditions to Billard’s release that include abstaining from drugs and alcohol and not to associate with other criminals. The conditions will remain in effect until July 2010.

Billard had served part of his sentence at the youth detention centre before being transferred to a federal prison in July 2007 shortly after he turned 19.

He was granted day parole earlier that year to attend school, but it was revoked a month before his transfer. The parole board said Billard had become deceptive and wasn't committed to finishing his programs.