The man who stabbed Banff cab driver Lucy Turmel and left her to die on May 17, 1990 has been granted full parole.
Ryan Jason Love, now 40, stabbed 23-year-old Turmel 17 times, allowing her to bleed to death as he fled in her cab with the money she had earned in fares that evening.
In granting Love full parole, effective Nov. 12, the Parole Board of Canada has imposed strict conditions on him to avoid drugs and alcohol, have no contact with Turmel’s family and to continue psychological counselling.
“A lifestyle including the abuse of both alcohol and illegal drugs has been identified as a factor that contributed to your offence. Maintaining your sobriety is a key risk management strategy,” the parole board stated in an Aug. 24 decision.
Love was arrested in 1992 after undercover officers obtained his DNA and matched it to blood found in the cab and on the knife. Love did not co-operate with the investigation and did not show any emotion during the trial, the parole board stated.
He began his life sentence in jail on June 17, 1994 after being convicted of second-degree murder.
Victim impact statements from Turmel’s family and her boyfriend, according to the board, “speak about the horrible consequences of such a violent act, the loss of one so young, and the lasting impact of her untimely death.”
Love was subsequently released on day parole in Sept. 2011. Two months later, he received a warning after going to a strip club with a friend who blew a “warning” on the breathalyser during a police check stop.
During his incarceration, Love has been assessed and treated both psychiatrically and psychologically.
The parole board continued Love’s day parole in February of this year for another six months after finding Love’s risk to “reoffend was not undue.” More recently, the parole board said Love is a low risk to reoffend violently.
During Love’s parole hearing, the board stated, “You have been abstinent since 2005 as confirmed by urinalysis testing. You are employed and have a strong pro-social support network in the community. You are reported to be aware of your risk factors and to have developed a good relapse prevention plan, which you use in high-risk situations. You remain motivated to succeed in the community.
“At the time of incarceration, the risk factors identified as contributing to this violent criminal offence included substance abuse, personal and emotional issues and attitude. The current correctional plan no longer lists any risk factors as significant.”