With files from Emily Lazatin
“Everytime I think about it, I get mad.”
Those, the words of Reena Virk’s grandfather, on the prospect of partial freedom for his granddaughter’s killer.
Kelly Ellard, the woman convicted of killing 14-year-old Virk as part of a vicious swarming nearly two decades ago is scheduled to attend her first day parole hearing this week.
She was just 15 years old in 1997, when the incident happened.
Virk’s grandfather Mukkan Palland says Ellard, now 33, doesn’t deserve parole.
“Her parole has been denied, every time.”
“She never said sorry yet, she never admitted, even if there was a witness. And all those kids who took part in the fight or in that act. No, she has no remorse.”
Though the killing happened almost two decades ago, Pallan says time hasn’t healed the wounds.
“It hasn’t been easy losing my granddaughter without any reason at all.”
“It’s up to the government now, we are not going to gain anything out of it. It’s not going to do us any good, even if she stays in prison.”
Listen to Reena Virk’s grandfather talk about Ellard’s parole hearing
But what are Ellard’s chances of actually getting day parole?
Criminal Defence Lawyer Rishi Gill says in a “Hot Button” case like Kelly Ellard’s, the decision isn’t clear-cut, and that the review panel will consider a number of arguments.
“They’ll look at how she’s been doing in custody, has she been doing her programming, they’ll see if her internal or institutional parole officers support her.”
As to how he thinks the panel might lean?
”I would say she has not a great shot, to be frank.”
Gill says there’s one argument a parole board will highly consider in a high profile case like Kelly Ellard’s.
“The fundamental goal is to protect the public from any reasonable, foreseeable risk.”
The attack happened one evening after Virk had gone to to a local school to hang out with a group of youth who were smoking and drinking.
She was swarmed by a group of girls, and beaten until she was bloody. Court testimony at the time revealed that one girl butted a cigarette out on her head.
She tried to stagger away, but two teens – Ellard, and a 16-year-old boy named Warren Glowatski, followed her across a Victoria bridge.
Glowatski and Ellard continued the beating, he stomping the 14-year old, and she smashing Virk’s head against a tree, then holding her under water until she stopped moving.
Ellard was tried as an adult, and found guilty of second-degree murder in 2000, but the verdict was overturned.
A jury was unable to reach a verdict at her second trial in 2004, and she was convicted again in 2005.
Glowatski was also tried as an adult and convicted of second-degree murder in 1999. He was granted full parole in 2010, which was not contested by the Virk family because he expressed remorse for the killing.
Six other girls, all between the ages of 14 and 17 pleaded or were found guilty of assault causing bodily harm.
Ellard’s day parole hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.