MONCTON - One of two men convicted in the brutal slaying of a Pictou cab driver in 1998 has been granted six trips out of prison.
Christopher Alexander Falconer, 26, formerly of Heathbell is allowed four 72-hour family visits and two-72 hour trips to a halfway house. The only conditions of his release are that he stay away from other known criminals.
In a decision rendered Friday, the National Parole Board agreed releasing Falconer would not pose a risk to the public.
He was 15 years old when he and his co-accused Fraser Wilson Kennedy plotted to attack and rob Pictou taxi driver Bob LeBlanc.
For $65 and a pack of cigarettes, Falconer strangled LeBlanc with a two foot long wire he'd hidden in the sleeve of his shirt while Kennedy, then aged 16, attacked the man with a hammer. LeBlanc's larynx was fractured in the attack.
The teenagers shoved LeBlanc in the trunk of his own car and then went to Falconer's home.
Despite his age, Falconer was charged as an adult with second degree murder. He was given a life sentence with no possibility of parole for six years. He was sent to a youth facility until 2000, when he was moved in to an adult prison. It was his first criminal conviction.
The recently granted absences from prison aren't Falconer's first trip out since his sentence. According to the parole decision he's already completed several escorted absences and has participated in a work release program.
"Correctional staff describe (Falconer) as having a respectful manner with both staff and fellow inmates. (His) performance with respect to institutional development has been consistently positive."
A psychological assessment completed in 2006 determined Falconer's "risk for violent recidivism to be at the high end of the low range and low to moderate to commit a non-violent offence."
The rest of his report is similarly positive. Kennedy's incarceration on the other hand has appeared less positive. He was last denied parole in 2006 after he walked out of his own hearing.
Jan. 2, 1998 - Pictou cab driver Robert Gerald LeBlanc, 53, is found dead in the trunk of his car.
Jan. 3-4, 1998 - RCMP arrest Fraser Wilson Kennedy, 16, of Meadowville and Christopher Alexander Falconer, 15, of Heathbell and charge them with murder. Kennedy's case is automatically elevated to adult court.
May 12, 1998 - A family court judge transfers Falconer's case to adult court.
May 18, 1999 - Kennedy pleads guilty to second degree murder.
June 30, 1999 - Kennedy is sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for seven years.
Aug. 18, 2000 - A Supreme Court judge rules Falconer, 18, should be transferred to an adult penitentiary now, instead of staying at the Waterville youth facility until he turns 20.
Nov. 23, 2004 - The National Parole Board denies Kennedy's application for full parole following a full parole pre-release hearing.
Sept. 26, 2006 - Kennedy's application for full parole is again denied.
June 6, 2008 - Falconer is granted six unescorted releases from prison.