The National Parole Board has granted full parole to Tristan Ryan, formerly known as Bradley Paetsch, who spent the past 27 years in jail for the 1991 murder of 16-year-old Okotokian, Stephanie Spooner.
Stephanie's sister-in-law, Robin Spooner, says the family is struggling to cope with the decision.
"We weren't surprised by the decision, at the same time, we are extremely frustrated and disgusted with the national parole board." she said.
Ryan walked free from the Drumheller Institution on Thursday, October 11.
Robin Spooner says the freedoms Ryan has gained while incarcerated have left the family feeling defeated, adding to their pain.
"Back in 2011, they granted him escorted temporary absences for work release. He had a condition in place that he was not supposed to have any contact with females, yet, he strikes up a relationship with his now wife. They allowed it to happen, he was allowed to get married after the fact and now that is what he uses to say he's rehabilitated," she said.
She adds the family is angry, and still trying to figure out where to go from here after the Parole Board refused to grant the single request of the family, if Ryan was paroled.
"Once again, the family and victims of Stephanie's murder were let down. They say they take in to account the numerous Victim Impact Statements they have on file, but clearly if they did, they would have been able to at least grant us our one request," she said.
The Spooner family asked for a condition to be put in place to keep Ryan out of the City of Calgary, but after objections from Ryan's wife, Candice, the Parole Board refused to grant the request, stating Calgary is a big city and the chances of the Spooner family running into him are slim.
Robin adds there needs to be some serious changes in the justice system, as it continues to fail victims, and their story is just one of many.
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