June 05, 2016 - 6:30 PM
TORONTO - A man convicted of second-degree murder in the shocking slaying of a Toronto teenager on Boxing Day ten years ago has been denied escorted temporary absences from prison.
Jorrell Simpson-Rowe was one of four people found guilty in Jane Creba's death.
The 15-year-old Creba was shopping with family on Toronto's busy Yonge Street when she was caught in the crossfire of a shootout between rival gangs in December 2005.
In a recent Parole Board of Canada decision, Simpson-Rowe, who began serving a life sentence in 2009, was not authorized for escorted temporary absences from prison after the board concluded they would present "an undue risk."
The absences would have allowed the 28-year-old Simpson-Rowe to attend six "Long Term Inmates Now in the Community" meetings intended to provide support and begin his gradual reintegration into the community.
The Parole Board found Simpson Rowe still needed to demonstrate, over a sustained period of time, an ability to "fully manage" his risk factors, which included emotional orientation and attitude, and use self-management plans he had developed before being granted such absences.
The shooting that killed Creba sparked a debate about gun violence in Toronto.
Simpson-Rowe and Jeremiah Valentine were convicted of second-degree murder in the shootout. Louis Raphael Woodcock and Tyshaun Barnett were found guilty of manslaughter.
On the day Creba was shot, Simpson-Rowe, who was 17 at the time, and a friend got into an argument with a group of people on Yonge Street, with Simpson-Rowe pulling a gun out from under his jacket and firing the weapon at the group, the Parole Board decision said.
The board noted that at a recent hearing, Simpson-Rowe admitted to having fired a gun during the incident, after denying doing so at his last appearance.
"You stated that when you last saw the board you were in denial and did not want to take full responsibility and accountability for the death and harm caused," the board wrote in its decision. "You told the board that following the last board hearing the 'switch in your head turned on' with you making a commitment to making sincere positive changes in your life."
The board noted Simpson-Rowe's past involved a tough, violent childhood growing up in what he called "the hood."
It also said that since his prison term began, while he had been involved in fights with other inmates and had threatened to throw urine at an officer, among other incidents, he had not been involved in any physical altercations in the past three years.
The board noted, however, that the Manager of Assessment and Interventions indicated that while Simpson-Rowe had made improvements in his behaviour and attitude, he continued to have "considerable outstanding needs."
"You have yet to demonstrate a sustained period of your ability to use the skills learned relative to self management," the board said. "Overall the board concludes that you need to demonstrate over a sustained period of time an ability to fully mange your risk factors and utilize the self management plans you have developed."
News from © The Canadian Press, 2016