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Man who killed couple on B.C. street denied parole, again

Remains a high risk

It’s been more than 20 years since John Cleaveland Heasman, 37, and Linda Lee Anderson, 39 were murdered on a Langley City residential street, and their killer remains a high risk to public safety, a Parole Board of Canada decision has determined.

On June 19, William James McCotter, now 59, was again denied parole. He is serving a life sentence for two counts of second-degree murder.

Written reasons provided to the Langley Advance Times show the parole board hearing found there has been no improvement in McCotter’s risk rating since he was arrested by police near the scene of the December 2001 fatal assault on Heasman and Anderson.

Anderson’s restraining order against McCotter had just expired when he attacked her and Heasman.

He knocked them to the ground outside her apartment building, kicked them in the head, then beat them both to death with a 2X4.

READ ALSO: Double murderer continues to victimize families from jail

READ ALSO: Man who murdered couple in Langley City denied parole after saying ‘get over it’

In their decision denying parole, the two-person parole board noted McCotter remains a high risk for violence towards an intimate partner, continues to deflect responsibility, and has exhibited “paranoid behaviour.”

“There have been no improvements in your risk ratings since the start of your sentence,” the board decision informed McCotter.

“Given the length of time served and your participation in [prison anti-violence] programs, your lack of progress is a notable for the absence of positive change.’

While McCotter has taken part in “voluntary and faith-based programs,” he has made “minimal gains,” the board ruling stated.

Family members opposed McCotter’s release.

“They expressed that your offending has ruined their lives and they continue to have concerns about your lack of remorse and risk to public safety,” the decision said. “There was a victim statement read at the start of the hearing in which they raised again raised concerns about your lack of progress. Serious harm occurred.”

“It is the Board’s opinion that you will present an undue risk to society if released on day parole or full parole and that your release will not contribute to the protection of society by facilitating your reintegration into society as a law-abiding citizen,” the decision concluded. “Accordingly, the Board denies day and full parole.”

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Dan Ferguson

About the Author: Dan Ferguson

Best recognized for my resemblance to St. Nick, I’m the guy you’ll often see out at community events and happenings around town.
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