Keith Wiens, who is serving a life sentence for the murder of Lynn Kalmring eight years ago, has been granted escorted absences from his Ontario prison.
On Oct. 24, the National Parole Board announced that Wiens, 64, a 25-veteran of the national police force who worked in Summerland, would be allowed to do community service work for up to eight hours duration, not exceeding 40 hours a month.
Wiens is serving a life sentence of 13 years without parole for second-degree murder after a jury found him guilty of shooting his common-law spouse in the face at their Sandbridge Estates home in Penticton on Aug. 16, 2011.
Under special conditions the parole board cited Wiens’ risk for intimate-partner violence as “high” and that his risk in that area had not been “adequately addressed.”
It added that any attempts on his part to initiate a friendship or intimate relationship with a female needs to be closely monitored to “prevent any other female from being in a position of risk.”
The parole board acknowledged the effect on Kalmring’s family, including her siblings and her children, writing “Victim impact statements on file attest to long-lasting emotional and psychological harm caused by the loss of the victim at your hands. They fear you.
“You told the board that you hope to alleviate the family of any further trauma; you will not contact them in any way. You realize that they will have to endure reliving their trauma as you take steps toward gradual reintegration.”
Part of the trauma included Wiens’ ongoing action in civil court over the estate that the family’s lawyer would only say was settled last year, although it’s believed to have been at a significant legal cost to the family.
Kalmring’s sister Donna Irwin described Wiens an “animal” on one of the anniversaries of her sister’s death. At the same time, Kalmring’s son Joey Kuroaka added he was saddened his son and daughter would never really get to know their grandmother.
The parole board report reviewed the entirety of the case, including the events of the night of the murder, which the judge in the case later said he was satisfied Wiens’ action in killing the victim was born out of anger and alcohol.
“You called police to report that you had just shot your wife. When police arrived on scene they found the victim deceased with a bullet wound to her head. A CZ 75 (9mm semi-automatic) loaded handgun was found close to the victim. You were arrested at the scene,” read the report.
It also pointed to the judge agreeing with the findings of the jury, noting the aggravating factors being that Wiens shot and killed the unarmed female victim and then attempted to cover up what he had done which the Crown said included putting a knife in the dead woman’s hand.
During the trial, Wiens maintained the shooting was in self-defence but during the parole board hearing he made no presentation to that effect. The parole board report noted that Wiens now took full responsibility for his actions causing the Kalmring’s death.
But it added: “Your gains are still viewed as minimal in terms of developing a more in-depth understanding of your risk factors and developing realistic self-management plans.”
Wiens reportedly was “adamant” in appearing before the board that he will never drink alcohol again.
In the report, it was noted a 2018 psychological risk assessment determined Wiens’ risk factor for “general and violent recidivism” was in the low range.
“The clinician noted that although you still deny committing the offence, you do now admit to you could have done more to avoid the shooting,” read the report. “The psychologist reports that you would likely benefit from participating in community service.”
It also cited that Wiens had completed a number of voluntary programs while in jail and his behaviour had been “satisfactory” in not incurring any charges or come to the attention of the security intelligence office.
Because he is serving time in a minimum-security prison (in southern Ontario) no restraint equipment will be used and while he is at “warden-approved” sites he will be escorted by a trained citizen volunteer or Correctional Service Canada staff member, remaining within sight and sound except for short washroom breaks.