WINNIPEG, MB – A Winnipeg man who murdered the woman carrying his child more than a decade ago has been denied early parole eligibility by a jury, meaning he will have to serve the full 25 years of his life sentence before being able to apply for parole. Nathaniel Plourde, 36, was convicted of first-degree murder in 2009 and sentenced to life in prison without parole for 25 years for killing Roxanne Fernando, 24, in 2007.
During a recent court hearing, a jury considered whether to allow Plourde, who has served 15 years of his sentence, to apply for early parole under Canada’s now-repealed “faint hope” clause. Despite evidence showing Plourde’s efforts in rehabilitation during his imprisonment, the jury ultimately denied his bid, ensuring he will have to serve his full minimum sentence before being eligible for parole.
Fernando’s brutal murder led to the introduction of “Roxanne’s Law” in 2010, a private member’s bill seeking to introduce penalties for people who coerce pregnant women to have an abortion. The bill was defeated in the House of Commons.
Plourde’s sentencing stemmed from a horrific event in 2007, where he fatally attacked Fernando with a monkey wrench on what she thought was a date. He had also admitted to planning her killing for weeks, citing the pregnancy as his motivation. Fernando was found buried in a snowbank with 14 distinct injuries, including a severely fractured skull that caused her to bleed to death.
The jury was also informed of Plourde’s efforts in prison, including the adoption of Christianity, completion of university courses, carpentry work, and suicide prevention efforts. Despite this, the jury’s decision stands, and Plourde will have to serve the full 25 years before being considered for parole.
This case serves as a tragic reminder of the consequences of domestic violence and the lasting impact it can have on victims and their families. It also highlights the importance of legislative efforts to address issues related to coercion and violence against pregnant women, particularly in cases of intimate partner violence.
The denial of Plourde’s bid for early parole reflects the gravity of his crime and the significant loss suffered by Fernando’s loved ones. It also underscores the complexities of the Canadian legal system in dealing with cases involving serious violent offenses and the implications of legislative changes on parole eligibility for convicted killers.