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Man convicted in Tsawwassen double murder gets review for full parole

Derek Lord continues to claim his innocence
The Appeal Division noted how the board’s determinative factors for denying full parole were Derik Lord’s coping mechanisms, lack of accountability and emotional regulation. Optimist File Photo

An Appeal Division has ordered a review of the Parole Board of Canada’s decision to deny full parole for a 50-year-old man convicted in taking part in a gruesome double-murder in Tsawwassen three decades ago.

Derik Lord’s request for full parole had been denied following a hearing earlier this year.

His day parole was continued in January 2024, at which time a panel hearing had been ordered for a full parole review.

After his bid for full parole was denied, Lord submitted a request to the Appeal Division to review the board’s decision.

Lord and his friend David Muir were hired in 1990 by Darren Huenemann to kill Huenemann’s mother and grandmother, Sharon Huenemann and Doris Leatherbarrow, so Huenemann could get an inheritance. The women were killed in their Tsawwassen home.

All three young men were convicted of first-degree murder in 1992.

Lord and Muir were both sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years. Huenemann received a life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.

Lord, who continues to claim his innocence, was granted day parole with conditions in March 2020 and that has been continuing at six-month intervals.

This week, the Parole Board of Canada Appeal Division released its determination that a review of the board’s decision should be held to determine whether the board’s decision was reasonable.

The Appeal Division ordered the new review by way of a hearing, finding that the board did not adequately demonstrate how it considered all available information and why full parole presented a higher risk to society.

It was also noted the written decision’s must be clear and understandable and reflect a fair analysis of all relevant information.

The Appeal Division also noted that, “Of particular importance in a case such as yours is that denying one’s responsibility for a crime cannot, in itself, preclude one from being granted parole.”

The Appeal Division concluded that the board’s decision is unreasonable, but also ordering the continuation of the board’s decision to deny full parole until the completion of the ordered review.

The victims’ family continues to object to Lord’s release.

Muir was granted day parole in April 2002 and full parole a year later.

Huenemann, who now goes by the name Darren Gowen, was granted day parole on six-month intervals starting August 2022.

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