Full parole for a man who killed a B.C. police officer

Delta Police Staff Sgt. Ron McKay died in 1974 at the hands of Elery Long.
Image Credit: Delta Police

VANCOUVER - A man who spent most of the last three decades in prison for murdering a Delta, B.C., police officer has been granted full parole.

This is the second time 69-year-old Elery Long has been given full parole.

Long has rotated in and out of prison, and on and off parole, due to breaches or "deteriorating behaviour" over the past 15 years, according to parole board documents.

In a strange twist, Long had in fact asked the board to oppose granting him full parole because he hadn't obtained subsidized housing. Despite his pension income, he was concerned he'd have to live in high-risk areas.

His request was denied.

Long killed Staff Sgt. Ron McKay in 1974, claiming the sawed-off shotgun he was carrying accidentally went off when he put the weapon to the officer's chest. He was sentenced to death, which was later changed to life in prison without chance of parole for 25 years when Canada abolished the death penalty.

The recently-released documents detail Long's March 3 parole board hearing.

"You said you did not intend to shoot or kill the victim and you said you are sorry for the harm you caused and understand the hatred the victim's family have for you," the decision states.

"While discussing the harm you caused you did not demonstrate any overt signs of emotion but you insisted you were remorseful."

Previous parole board decisions document a 15-year-history of the man's drug and alcohol abuse, and relay episodes including squandering a student loan, stalking a woman and lying to parole officers.

The two-person board now indicates the man may have put his troubles behind him.

After weighing all the factors such as sobriety, lack of violence, success during day parole and adequate pension income, the board granted Long full parole.

The decision states he has been living on day parole in an undisclosed community on Vancouver Island, but does not state whether that's where he'll remain.

He must abide by several conditions, including staying away from illegal drugs or alcohol, reporting any relationships he develops with women and must have no contact with the victim's family members.

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