A Kelowna woman sentenced to life in prison for the 1998 killing and dismemberment of her husband has been granted day parole.
Ronda Petra Black was given the extra freedom during a Sept. 16 hearing with the Parole Board of Canada, where she was deemed a low to moderate threat to re-offend and was noted for being remorseful for the murder of her husband.
“You now accept full responsibility for your index offence, however the report indicates you continue to minimize your dismemberment of the victim’s body with the assistance of the co-accused,” reads the decision that also points out that Black claims to be “sickened” by the crimes she’s convicted of.
An institutional parole officer worker who has been with Black during her rehabilitation, said that she’s seen positive changes over the last couple of years.
“You are a person who previously shut down and did not accept negative information,” reads the decision. “(The IPO) said you have consistently demonstrated improved interaction and now are less rigid.”
Of note, Black has “a greater capacity for change” and has stopped “living with secrets.”
Where Black may become more of a risk, said the parole board, is within the context of a romantic relationship.
As such, her release requires that she immediately report relationships to a parole officer.
She’s also barred from contact with her victim’s family, must provide documented financial information, follow a treatment plan and not associate with people involved with criminal activity.
Black’s release plan includes working, attending church, attending community support meetings and working with pastors.
Black pleaded guilty to the 1998 second degree murder of her husband Keith Black in 2007.
The court found that on July 20, 1998, when her husband went to the basement to have a nap, she stabbed him in the jugular with a hunting knife.
She wrapped the body in a tarp, dragged it upstairs and into her car — while their infant son watched — and drove it to the Alberta community of Exshaw.
A partner in crime proceeded to cut off Keith’s head and hands and they together concealed the body near Canmore. In 1999, a hiker discovered Keith’s skull, although police could not identify it until Black’s partner exposed the location of the remains in June 2003.
The pair were arrested soon after that. Her partner was later convicted of accessory to murder after the fact.
He tried to appeal the conviction, but his application was denied.