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Small number of killers face consecutive parole ineligibilities

Last Updated Dec 17, 2017 at 11:40 am EST

Travis Baumgartner is taken out of a van by Canadian Border Services officers at the Aldergrove, B.C. border crossing, Saturday, June 16, 2012. Legal experts say a sentencing provision that can keep killers in prison for the rest of their lives is likely to make its way to the Supreme Court of Canada. The federal government enacted legislation in 2011 that allows a judge to order a multiple murderer to serve consecutive periods of parole ineligibility for each offence. It has only been applied on six occasions, including Baumgartner. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

CALGARY – Federal legislation adopted in 2011 allows a judge to order a multiple murderer to serve more than the usual minimum number of years before being allowed to apply for release from prison. Here’s a look at the six individuals who have been sentenced to extended parole ineligibility under the seven-year-old law.

Derek Saretzky was sentenced in August to life in prison with no chance of parole for 75 years after being convicted in the 2015 first-degree murders of two-year-old Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette, her father Terry Blanchette and senior Hanne Meketech in southwestern Alberta. Saretzky will have to live to age 97 before he is eligible to apply for his freedom. His lawyer is appealing the conviction and the sentence.

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Douglas Garland was sentenced in February to life in prison without parole for 75 years for killing Alvin and Kathy Liknes and their five-year-old grandson Nathan O’Brien in 2014. Court heard how Garland attacked the three victims in their home, then took them to his farm near Calgary, where he killed and dismembered them and burned their remains. He would be 129 before he could apply for parole. He is appealing his conviction and sentence.

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John Paul Ostamas was a homeless man in April 2015 when he brutally beat three other transient men to death in separate attacks in Winnipeg. He pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree murder and in June 2016 was sent to prison for life with no chance of parole for 75 years, meaning he would have to live until 115 in order to apply.

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A jury convicted Christopher Husbands of second-degree murder for gunning down two men in a crowded food court in Toronto’s Eaton Centre in June 2012. He was sentenced in April 2016 to life in prison with no parole eligibility for 30 years, so he would have been 53 before he could apply. But the Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled the jury in the original trial was not properly selected and has ordered a new trial.

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Mountie killer Justin Bourque was ordered by a judge in Moncton, N.B., in October 2014 to serve at least 75 years of his life sentence before being able to request parole. Bourque shot and killed three RCMP officers and wounded two others in June 2014. He pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder. He is eligible for parole at age 99.

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In September 2013, a judge in Edmonton sentenced armoured car guard Travis Baumgartner to life in prison with no chance at parole for 40 years. Baumgartner killed three of his colleagues during an ATM robbery in a mall at the University of Alberta in June 2012. A fourth guard was badly hurt but survived. Baumgartner pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and attempted murder. He is eligible for parole at age 61.

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