Twenty-five years after former Keremeos resident Robert Nicholson was handed a life sentence for the murder of two men, his day parole is being continued for another six months.
In 1994, Nicholson pleaded guilty to the first-degree murders of Alfred Vass and Paul Dugus, who he beat to death with a baseball bat. He was sentenced to 25 years in jail.
Nicholson has been serving a life sentence since Nov. 30, 1995, with parole eligibility originally set at 25 years. The now 45-year-old was first granted day parole in October 2018, after unsuccessfully applying for early parole in 2012.
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Back in the ’90s, Nicholson was identified as a suspect in the disappearance of two men, due to his involvement in stealing motorcycles with one of the victims.
According to a recent decision by the Parole Board of Canada, undercover officers contacted Nicholson with the pretence of recruiting him for criminal activity. At this point, Nicholson admitted to killing the two victims and claimed he would do it again. He then led the undercover officers to the hidden graves where the victims’ remains were found.
Victim impact statements, at the time, questioned how Nicholson could murder someone (with a baseball bat) then sit with their mother day after day and ask, as though he was concerned, about the son who was missing.
The parole board decision explained Nicholson’s crime included a ‘level of cruelty and brutality that is of significant concern’ and that he demonstrated ‘extraordinary violence and disregard for human life,’ and that he remains ‘a moderate risk for violent re-offending’.
However, despite the parole board identifying his moderate risk to violently re-offend, they claim that over time, Nicholson has demonstrated he will take his correctional plan seriously and appears to be committed to the change he has made. This decision is based on evidence by another successful period of day parole.
Also, the board found Nicholson to have completed several passes too and from different locations, with no information to suggest he breached his conditions.
The board explained to Nicholson that he will continue to be closely monitored and that his movements and actions in the community will be confirmed by several different parties ongoing.
It’s unclear where in B.C. Nicholson will spend his day parole.
One of Nicholson’s conditions is not travel to the Okanagan or Similkameen without prior written approval.
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