VANCOUVER — A man who was found guilty of killing a police officer in Delta, B.C., is back out on parole.
Elery Long was granted full parole for the second time in March 2015 after spending years behind bars for killing Staff Sgt. Ron McKay in 1974.
Long claimed the sawed-off shotgun he was carrying accidentally went off when he shoved the weapon into the officer’s chest.
Long was sentenced to death for first-degree murder. His death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment after the death penalty was abolished in 1976.
His parole was suspended in April after a confrontation with a woman led to an assault charge.
The woman alleged Long punched her in the arm, but Long insisted he and the woman accidentally bumped into each other as they came around a corner at the same time.
Parole board documents show the charge against the 71-year-old was stayed in May and the parole suspension was lifted.
Documents detailing a May 31 parole board hearing suggest that adjusting to life outside of prison has not been easy for Long.
“It is reported you have struggled during past releases and during your current release, despite being financially and emotionally ready,” the documents said.
Long was first granted parole in 2000, but documents show he bounced in and out of prison for numerous offences, including abusing drugs, stalking a woman and lying to his parole officers.
The board ruled in March 2015 that Long had sustained a period of sobriety and lack of violence on day parole, making him eligible to live in an undisclosed community on Vancouver Island.
Despite his history, the parole board said Long’s behaviour is not a concern to his case management team, and there is nothing to suggest he has been abusing drugs or alcohol, or involved in crime.
“You are currently viewed as having a high level of accountability, having expressed remorse and demonstrated positive behaviour during your conditional release,” the documents said.
The parole board said Long’s potential for reintegrating into the community is rated “high.”
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