Drug addicted killer gets day parole

A crack-cocaine addict who killed Kelowna woman Crystal Gagnon in 2007 at the behest of his dealers is out on day parole.

A crack-cocaine addict who killed Kelowna woman Crystal Gagnon in 2007 at the behest of his dealers is out on day parole.

Mark Anaka, 40, was given a mandatory life sentence in 2009 after pleading guilty to the slaying of Gagnon, two years prior. He was first granted day parole in March of this year, and this month he was granted a six month extension of that release.

Gagnon died of multiple stab wounds to her neck inflicted with a broken glass bottle sometime over the Labour Day long weekend in 2007. Anaka dumped her body in Mill Creek behind the Parkinson Recreation Centre, where police discovered it a week later after receiving a tip.

“The Board must always note the severe violent nature of the index offence and that you chose to murder someone who suffered the same addiction as you did,” reads the parole report. “You have taken responsibility and demonstrated remorse for your actions. there are no Parole Board victims’ concerns that have to be addressed.”

The board concluded that Anaka’s risk to reoffend in the community while on day parole does not pose an undue risk and is thus far contributing to his reintegration to a law abiding society.

There has, said the report, been positive measurable progress and only minor concerns have been identified.

To deal with those problems, Anaka has some conditions he’s ordered to adhere to.

Those include a ban on the consumption of alcohol or drugs that haven’t been subscribed to him.

He’s not to associated with any person believed to be involved in criminal activity or substance misuse.

Anaka must also participate in counselling with a mental health professional to be arranged by his parole supervisor.

According to an agreed statement of facts read out in court during Anaka’s 2009 trial, he  acted on orders from two unnamed drug dealers who “owned him,”

Both he and Gagnon were addicted to crack cocaine at the time of the killing. Anaka later admitted his crime to at least two civilians as well as undercover police officers, who were planted in jail with him after he was arrested on an unrelated drug possession charge.

The court heard at the time that Gagnon’s family tried to get her into a treatment program, but couldn’t find a bed. The reason why her death was ordered wasn’t revealed.

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