A Saanich man serving a life sentence for the first-degree murder of two people has been granted day parole despite continuing to deny his role in the slayings.
Derik Christopher Lord was 17 when he and another high school student, David Muir, carried out a plan by a third teen, Darren Huenemann, to kill Huenemann’s mother and grandmother in October 1990.
Sharon Huenemann was 47 and her mother, Doris Leatherbarrow, was 69 when they were beaten and stabbed in the throat, in the kitchen of Leatherbarrow’s Tsawwassen home as they prepared to serve the two teens dinner.
Darren Huenemann attended the same Saanich high school as Lord and Muir and had promised them cars, homes and monthly salaries if they killed his relatives and cleared the way for what Huenemann believed would be a roughly $3 million inheritance.
All three teens were convicted in 1992.
Lord, now 47, must abide by a number of day parole conditions including not associating with any people who are involved in criminal activity, not traveling to the Island or the Lower Mainland, along with having no direct contact with any of the victim’s family members and crown witnesses.
He must also return to a residential facility each night.
In a hearing held on March 10, the Parole Board of Canada heard four victim impact statements, along with taking into consideration numerous impact statements already on file, that describe the trauma and psychological harm they continue to endure. The victims state, as noted in The Board’s decision which was released on March 31, fear for their personal safety and do not support Lord’s release.
The decision noted that over the past 30 years of Lord’s incarceration he has had conflict with staff, had visitors test positive for drugs, has refused to provide urine samples and been in the possession of unauthorized items. It also notes Lord has fathered a child with his current partner, who he met in custody.
In 2016 Lord was reclassified to minimum security.
The board notes what Lord describes as a “chaotic” childhood that saw his family move around a lot, leading to him struggling to make friends in different schools he attended. Lord told the board he felt socially isolated and had poor self-esteem with a history of self-harm.
Throughout his incarceration, Lord discovered his Indigenous heritage and identifies as Metis. His cultural practice played a large role in granting his day parole after Lord appealed the denial of parole in February in part for the board’s failure to recognize the benefits of him engaging with his Aboriginal culture. Although the board stated it could not “find a discernible link between” Lord’s Indigenous social history and the violent nature of his crimes.
The board also found comments Lord made describing the pain and anguish felt by surviving family members “came across as disingenuous” and lacked any “meaningful understanding” of the harm he had caused, along with the “significant resentment and apparent anger toward a key witness” in his trial.
Lord’s day parole will be reassessed in four months.