WATCH: A panel has denied the day parole request from the woman convicted of killing 14-year-old Reena Virk in 1997
34-year-old Kelly Ellard has spent most of her adult life in prison for the murder of 14-year-old Reena Virk.
Virk was swarmed and beaten by a group of teens under the Craigflower bridge in 1997.
She managed to get away but was followed by a then 15-year-old Ellard and 16-year-old Warren Glowatski.
Glowatski watched while Ellard held Reena’s head under the water until she drowned.
Both were convicted of second-degree murder.
Today Ellard’s first attempt at day parole was denied by a two-member panel.
Although the board noted Ellard has made positive changes in her behaviour, with no prison rule infractions in the past 11 months, they said she shows a sense of ‘entitlement’ and minimizes certain aspects of the offence.
“They wanted to see more evidence that her attitude and behaviour has actually changed,” said Patrick Storey, spokesperson for the Parole Board of Canada.
In her interview at today’s hearing, Ellard did make one major change, for the first time since that horrific day in 1997, she admitted responsibility.
“She felt responsible for Reena Virk’s death, the actions that she took that night led directly to Miss Virk’s death,” said Storey.
But Ellard didn’t admit she held Reena’s head under the water, only saying she pushed the unconscious teen into the water and walked away.
When asked who was responsible for the death, she said “I believe I am.”
Reena Virk’s family wasn’t at the hearing, but CHEK News spoke with her grandfather on the phone who said it made him happy to hear Ellard had been denied day parole.
As for her admission of guilt, he noted she still hasn’t said she was sorry and still shows no remorse but at least is finally admitting she is responsible for Reena’s death.
Kelly Ellard can’t reapply for day parole for a year but she can apply for lesser, temporary, forms of release.
If Ellard had been allowed day parole, she would have been released to a halfway house in an undisclosed location.