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Jesse Penner's killer facing charges for incident that occurred while behind bars

Gord Penner said he is relieved his son
Gord Penner said he is relieved his son's killer will have to spend more time behind bars.
— image credit: TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO

Ryan Crossley, the 22-year-old responsible for the death of Port Coquitlam's Jesse Penner, will not be released from prison when his six-year sentence comes to an end next week.

Instead the inmate, who was 16 when he was convicted, has been taken back to Prince Albert, Sask., where he is facing charges related to an incident that occurred while he was behind bars. The Crown prosecutor's office in Saskatchewan confirmed Crossley was in court there Wednesday morning but did not specify the charges.

The decision by corrections officials comes as a relief to Gord Penner, Jesse's father, who was anticipating that the man who stabbed his son to death would be walking the streets by Christmas.

"I was sick about it," he said. "They know how dangerous he is."

Corrections officials have not disclosed what charges Crossley will be facing when he returns to Saskatchewan but his propensity for violence has been well documented.

During a 2011 detention review, the Parole Board of Canada said Crossley would not be eligible for early release because of infractions that occurred while he was incarcerated, including assault and possession of weapons. The board also noted that since his incarceration, he has not completed any programs to address his violent behaviour and substance abuse issues.

"You continue to endanger the safety of others, on occasion spontaneously, but often with some level of pre-planning, and frequently involving the use of weapons," the board said in its reasons for decision following the 2011 hearing. "You do not display genuine remorse for the victims and clearly hold a personal belief that accepts and endorses violence."

In July, Crossley was supposed to appear before the parole board again for a detention review but he refused to answer questions, saying he did not want to waste anyone's time.

Jesse Penner was trying to break up a fight outside a house part in 2006 when Crossley, who was on supervised release awaiting sentencing in an unrelated weapons charge, stabbed him multiple times. The former Douglas College Royals baseball player was taken to hospital, where he died from his wounds.

During his sentencing hearing in 2007, the judge said Crossley, then 16, had 10 prior convictions, some for violent assaults. The parole board has also noted that Crossley had suffered two separate head injuries at an early age that may contribute to his violent outbursts. At 14, he as diagnosed by a psychiatrist as having severe conduct disorder.

gmckenna@tricitynews.com

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