Island woman’s killer on day parole in Calgary

NANAIMO — A Nanaimo woman whose daughter was strangled to death in a Vancouver apartment in 2007 wants residents in Calgary to be aware of the killer’s day parole — approved less than five years after he was convicted and began a life sentence.

The Parole Board of Canada on Sept. 11 approved the day parole of Andrew William Evans, 32, who in 2007 admitted to strangling Nicole Parisien in a drunken, drug-fuelled rage after he allegedly paid her for sex.

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Evans — who turned himself in to police in Calgary the day after Parisien’s death — was described as a low risk to reoffend by the Parole Board in the decision. He was approved for a six-month term of day parole to the Calgary area with conditions including he avoid drugs, alcohol, sex workers and report all relationships to a supervisor.

Nevertheless, Parisien’s mother, Marilyn Wedholm, said the public needs to be aware of Evans’s release.

“Because this fellow Andrew Evans committed such a heinous murder, we believe that the public should be aware that he is at large in the community,” Wedholm said from Calgary on Friday.

At trial it was found that Evans — a former drug counsellor who relapsed three months prior to the killing — had used his hands to strangle Parisien to death the morning of Aug. 27, 2007.

The former University of British Columbia rugby player told police he had contacted the victim on Craigslist and paid her $200 for sex upon visiting her at a Kitsilano apartment. Evans had been on an hours-long bender that included 15 drinks, several hits of marijuana and half a tablet of ecstasy.

But when Evans failed to get an erection, he reacted in embarrassment by assaulting Parisien, choking her to death, wrapping her body in linens and dragging her into bushes outside the apartment. He told the court his rage came on suddenly.

“It’s been hell,” Wedholm said. “It’s been total hell. I keep looking for her, thinking she’s going to be around any corner, she’s going to phone me for my birthday. … I’m in a bad dream.”

With the help of a lawyer, Evans turned himself in to police and admitted to the killing. He began a life sentence for second-degree murder in October 2009.

The Parole Board in its decision described Evans as a remorseful offender who understands his own risk factors.

Evans has enrolled in drug rehabilitation programs and has been described by the Parole Board as “highly motivated to make positive changes.”

In response to the parole board’s decision, Wedholm and Helena Lines, a Nanaimo resident and Parisien’s cousin, took their concerns to the front of the Calgary recovery centre where Evans once worked.

“The Canadian justice system has it all wrong,” Lines said. “The first mandate is to protect the public and society and secondly it is to rehabilitate criminals. It seems as though they’ve transposed those two responsibilities.

“That’s our personal belief.”

Family members have repeatedly denied claims that Parisien, 33 at the time, was working as a prostitute. According to family members, she was visiting from Lillooet and had plans to open her own business with a sizable inheritance from her father.

“Nicole can’t come back and talk for herself now,” Wedholm said.

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