Just a few months after being denied day parole, a convicted Calgary wife killer has been given a different kind of freedom.
Robert William Bell made his first bid for day parole in December, which was denied.
He appealed in May, but in a decision we first reported on, that was also lost.
So Bell applied for unescorted temporary absences, which have been granted.
He is serving a sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole for twelve years for the August 2005 murder of his wife.
Tanya Gordon’s body was found in her Ogden home, where court heard she had been strangled and smothered, while their children were in the house.
At one point, the victim told one of the kids to call 911 but Bell convinced him not to.
After Gordon’s death, Bell took off with all three kids, dropping two off in Calgary before leaving the province with his son.
A Canada-wide warrant was issued, and Bell and his son were eventually stopped near Moose Jaw.
After pleading guilty to second-degree murder, Bell’s parole eligibility was set at 12 years.
Following a hearing last week, the Parole Board has agreed to the conditional passes, so he can re-connect with family and start the re-integration process.
In documents obtained by News Talk 770, the board calls the absences “well-structured”, offering adequate reporting requirements and contacts with authorities, including that he will have to check in with both RCMP and his parole officer.
Over the next six months, he will be given one 72-hour pass each month, so he can spend time with his stepmother.
When he’s away from her, Bell will need to be with another pre-approved family member.
The panel also notes Bell’s behaviour has been positive in minimum-security prison over the last three years, showing he’s capable of functioning with a certain amount of freedom.
Bell is eligible for full parole in September 2017.