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Roger Bilodeau granted unescorted leaves for family, personal development

Roger Bilodeau, one of the individuals found guilty in connection with the deaths of Jacob Sansom and Maurice Cardinal near Glendon, in March of 2020, has been granted temporary absences from prison for personal development and family contact, according to a report released by the Parole Board of Canada.

Bilodeau, aged 60, is serving a sentence of five years, six months, and 19 days for manslaughter. Despite being subject to a DNA order and a lifetime firearms prohibition order, he had no prior convictions.

His son, Anthony Bilodeau, was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with 13 years of parole ineligibility in January 2023.

On December 6, 2023. The parole board requested a panel hearing to discuss the possibility of granting Roger Bilodeau unescorted temporary absences (UTAs). Although supported by the case management team, the board sought to meet with Bilodeau to assess his progress, acceptance of responsibility for the offense, and understanding of his attitude and behavior contributing to the tragic event.

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Following a hearing on February 21, 2024, the board authorized UTAs for Bilodeau, citing reasons of personal development and family contact. These absences will not exceed 72 hours per month and come with stringent reporting requirements to the institution.

The decision comes despite opposition from local RCMP, expressing concerns about potential community unrest if Bilodeau were allowed unsupervised visits. However, the board emphasized the positive aspects of Bilodeau’s case, stating that the mitigating factors outweigh the aggravating circumstances.

In March 2020, the incident occurred when Sansom and Cardinal drove past the Bilodeau property, triggering a confrontation that escalated into a fatal altercation, leaving both victims dead. Bilodeau’s version of events does not fully align with the official account, and he is currently appealing his sentence, partly motivated by influencing his son’s appeal.

Despite these discrepancies, the board categorized Bilodeau as “low risk” for reoffending. The decision to grant UTAs was seen as desirable to maintain family relationships and facilitate Bilodeau’s engagement with the church community for personal development.

Bilodeau remains under a no-contact order with the victims’ families. The decision to grant UTAs reflects the board’s assessment that his risk during these absences will not be undue, allowing him opportunities for rehabilitation while maintaining public safety.

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