The retired Penticton Mountie serving a life sentence for the second-degree murder of his common-law spouse, Lynn Kalmring, has been granted escorted temporary absences from the prison he's been held in since his 2013 conviction.
Keith Wiens killed Kalmring in 2011 and according to parole documents released Oct. 24, he will be able to leave prison for up to 40 hours a month — eight hours at a time — for community service.
While this will be a slight increase in freedom, Wiens faces special conditions because he's still considered a high risk when it comes to his relationships with women.
The parole board said he must report intimate relationships of a sexual and nonsexual nature as well as friendships with women to his parole supervisor.
According to the parole board, Wiens still hasn't come to terms with his conviction, continuing to deny that the offence was intentional despite unsuccessful appeals.
Continuing to pursue other avenues to deal with his perception of injustice, Wiens told parole officers that the “Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP” is reviewing his case and he has applied for a Conviction Review by the Department of Justice. He said the matter is "sitting on the desks of Ministers of Public Safety and Justice” at this time.
A psychological risk assessment dated Sept. 12, 2018, further deterred the board from a release without conditions.
According to the report, Wiens's assessed risk is in the low range for general and violent recidivism but his risk for intimate partner violence is in the high range.
The parole board noted that although Wiens still denies committing the offence, he does now admit that he "could have done more to avoid the shooting."
Wiens always admitted he fatally shot Kalmring in the head Aug. 16, 2011, but he said in his trial that it was an act of self-defence.
His claim, which was rejected by the jury, was that he and Kalmring had gotten into an argument after he went to bed, declining sex.
He said he was afraid of Kalmring when she "snapped" and that he slept with a handgun under his pillow given his 25-year history as a Mountie.
At the time, the Judge agreed with the finding of the jury, noting that the aggravating factors of the case were that he shot and killed an unarmed woman, and then tried to cover it up after the fact.
That said, he's taken part in some programs that the parole board said may have helped him better understand his role in the crime, including a Multi-Target Maintenance program, completed in 2019.
According to the parole report, he was unaware of the thinking that built to the point that he reached for his gun and shot the victim or the emotions he felt while he and the victim were arguing over when he was awakened.
Throughout the program, Wiens indicated that he should have taken the time to listen to Kalmring, and display empathy towards her or leave the house.
"Your gains are still viewed as minimal in terms of developing a more in-depth understanding of your risk factors, and developing realistic self-management plans," reads the report.
The parole hearing members also said they found him forthcoming about his offending and his progress was greater than previously reported.
Risk factors for Wiens include relationships, alcohol, impulsivity, anger/animosity, and personal emotional issues such as stresses and keeping feelings and thoughts bottled up.
He claims he will leave Kalmring's family alone.
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