Quebec man who raped and killed toddler in 1995 denied parole for fourth time

“Although you have been incarcerated for decades, there is very little documented improvement on your risk of reoffending or on your risk factors,” the parole board wrote in the summary of its decision.

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A man who raped and killed a 21-month-year old girl before tossing her body in a garbage heap in St-Hubert nearly three decades ago has been denied parole for the fourth time.

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The recent decision made by the Parole Board of Canada means that Tyrone Turpin, 49, will spend at least another five years behind bars before he can request a release again.

On Feb. 9, 1996, a jury at the Longueuil courthouse found Turpin guilty of first-degree murder and sodomy in the sexual assault and death of Jessica Lemire-Gagnon. Turpin was babysitting the girl while her parents were cleaning a restaurant. When they returned Turpin claimed that she had been kidnapped by a drug dealer who wanted $500 in ransom.

The girl’s body was discovered the following day stuffed inside a large plastic bag that Turpin had placed on a garbage heap outside her parents’ apartment building in St-Hubert. She was naked from the waist down and there were two small plastic bags wrapped over her head and knotted under her chin de ella. An autopsy revealed Jessica was strangled to death and was sodomized before she was killed.

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According to the summary of the parole board’s decision made on April 28, Turpin’s version of events “relating to the murder has changed a few of times since the beginning of your sentence. You finally confessed to the murder around 2002, but you still deny having sexually assaulted the young victim. You reported that you had consumed cocaine, and possible other substances, on the night of the murder, and that you strangled the baby because she was crying. You panicked, and you put the victim in a garbage bag to dispose of her body. At the hearing, you explained that earlier in the day, you felt an invisible force, telling you not to visit the family, but you ignored it. You have learned to trust these types of internal messages, in your life, since then.”

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The first-degree murder conviction came with an automatic life sentence with a period of parole ineligibility set at 25 years. But in 1998, the Quebec Court of Appeal reduced the conviction to second-degree murder after it determined there was no evidence presented at trial to indicate Turpin killed Jessica because he sodomized the girl. The court also reduced Turpin’s period of parole ineligibility from 25 years to 15.

Despite being eligible for parole since 2010, Turpin has actually spent more time behind bars than an average offender serving time for first-degree murder. The recent decision made by the parole board details how it previously denied him any form of release in 2010, 2013, and 2017, “as the board was of the opinion that the high risk you present would be undue to society.”

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One thing that convinced the parole board to keep Turpin behind bars is that he registers on a scale that rates him as a psychopath when compared to other offenders. Another detail that has not helped Turpin is that he was convicted of assault, in 2011, while he was incarcerated at the Drummondville Institution. He “deliberately and violently” used a door to attack a prison guard.

“Your file contains several psychological assessments and a psychiatric assessment completed since the beginning of your sentence. Globally, professionals note the presence of antisocial and narcissistic personality disorder with paranoid traits. They all observe that you qualify on the psychopathy scale. They mostly conclude to a high risk of violent recidivism and a moderate-to-high risk of sexual recidivism,” the board wrote in the summary of its decision.

“Although you have been incarcerated for decades, there is very little documented improvement on your risk of reoffending or on your risk factors. Your explanations at the hearing reflect a poor understanding of your risk factors and a tendency to blame outside elements for your behaviour.”

Turpin’s case will be reviewed again in 2027.

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