Kelly Ellard, Reena Virk’s killer, gets day parole extended for 6 more months, overnight leave authorized

Kelly Ellard, Reena Virk's killer, gets day parole extended for 6 more months, overnight leave authorized

The Parole Board of Canada has extended Kelly Ellard’s day parole for a further six months and has approved overnight leave.

Ellard, who is in her mid-30s and now goes by the name Kerry Sim, was convicted of second-degree murder in 2005 in the death of 14-year-old Reena Virk in 1997. She was initially granted day parole in 2017 shortly after the birth of a child she conceived during a conjugal visit with her boyfriend.

The board has extended parole in six-month increments since then.

Reena Virk was killed in November 1997.

Reena Virk was killed in November 1997. File photo.

Ellard was 15 at the time of Virk’s murder, but was sentenced as an adult. She was convicted at her third trial in 2005 after a B.C. Court of Appeal decision set aside the guilty verdict in her first trial and her second trial ended with a deadlocked jury.

Court was told Ellard and several other teens swarmed and beat Virk before Ellard and a teenage boy held her head underwater until she drowned.

The parole board’s decision from July, 18, 2019, comes with conditions that include she not consume drugs or alcohol and avoid certain people, including any member of the Virk family.

“The Board has determined that while serving your sentence in the community, you have continued to maintain and demonstrate positive change,” the decision says.

The board decision also determined that extending the day parole would not constitute an undue risk to the public and will continue to facilitate Ellard’s reintegration into the community.

The decision says the most recent psychological risk assessment for Ellard in 2016 points to a moderate to high-moderate risk of future violence over the long term.

“Your risk is assessed at the higher end of moderate if you were to use substances or associate with negative peers or substance abusers,” the decision says.

The board also noted that a therapy report from 2018 is positive in nature and indicates Ellard continues to mature and is demonstrating stability and progress.

Ellard lives in a community residential facility while on day parole. Overnight leave is authorized under rules and regulations of the facility for Ellard to further reintegrate into the community.

The decision said there have been no indications of a breach of conditions or substance abuse while Ellard has been on day parole on day parole.

Ellard gave birth while incarcerated and the board notes there were concerns regarding the child’s other parent and his reported criminality.

“This is a relationship that requires monitoring,” the decision says.

Reena’s mother, Suman Virk, died in what the family called a “tragic accident” in June 2018.

Reena dad, Manjit Virk, wrote an op-ed for the Globe and Mail following the death of Carson Crimeni in Langley. Crimeni’s apparent drug overdose death was captured on video and posted to social media. The case is under RCMP and the Independent Investigations Office of BC. 

In Thursday’s article, Manjit wrote about the parallels to his daughter’s search for acceptance and her death. He also talked about how everyone should do more to prevent bullying.

With files from The Canadian Press

Ben O'HaraBen O'Hara

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