The last of four men involved in a brutal double murder eight years ago has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder.
Lisa Dudley and Guthrie McKay were gunned down in their mission home in 2008, but a Mountie sent to investigate never left his cruiser — the critically injured Dudley died several days later.
Today, Tom Holden admitted his role – but Dudley’s mother Rosemarie can’t believe he’ll stay on bail until a January sentencing.
“Like slapping us in the face right now, this guy actually just admitted to doing what he did, hes’s not going to serve the full time, but not only that he gets to spend Christmas with his family, I don’t think it’s right, when it was written in the books – I don’t think this was supposed to happen to killers”
Holden had originally been facing two counts of first degree murder.
Dudley’s family says the guilty plea means they’ve never heard the details of their daughter’s death — and are calling for a coroner’s inquest.
Dudley’s sister Cindy couldn’t believe Holden is out on bail.
“I think it is absolutely disgusting, probably one of the biggest kicks in the teeth is that he was able to walk out of here with his family.”
READ MORE: Fourth man accused in Mission double homicide to stand trial in January 2016, victim’s parents lament court delays
Mother Rosmarie and stepfather Markku are also calling for a coroner’s inquiry, saying the lack of a single trial has left them without closure.
say the fact there were no trials have left them without closure.
“It went four direct indictments. And that is a real problem for us because we don’t know actually what transpired, the reasons for all of this.”
“In other words, there are total strangers who do no more about what happened to my daughter and Guthrie than we do.”
Dudley had been found four days after the murder happened, clinging to life, but died on the way to hospital.
Guthrie McKay was already deceased.
Tom Holden will be sentenced on January 9, 2017.
In 2012 Jack Woodruff also pleaded guilty to first degree murder. Two other men pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.
Bail not unusual
But while Dudley’s family is outraged one of her daughter’s killers is walking free, a Vancouver criminal lawyer says it’s not unusual.
Rishi Gill says it’s fairly common practice for offenders already on bail to stay free until sentencing if lawyers from both sides agree.
“If the person is on bail to begin with, and the crown is amenable, it sounds like obviously they are, once you enter a plea or once you’re found guilty, the bail can continue and it really depends on the type of offender, and what they were like on bail.”
And he says the fact Tom Holden plead guilty to a lesser charge might have played a role, especially if prosecutors wanted to enter that plea as quickly as possible.
But adds courts don’t always bend that way.
“Most of the time, if there’s gotta be a sentencing going over, then the crown will say okay, we don’t have any problem with bail. But I’ve been in situations where the crown has taken a hard line and says ‘no, we want to pull bail.'”
Holden will return to court January 9th for sentencing.