Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Board predicts tough release for con in Mountie slayings

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EDMONTON -- The National Parole Board says one of two men convicted in the slayings of four Alberta Mounties is bound to face public hostility when he is released from prison next month.

The board makes the point in a report outlining special conditions Dennis Cheeseman must abide by when he gets out Nov. 19.

The conditions include getting psychological counselling to help cope with what's expected to be a stressful return to the community.

"Your offences have drawn substantial notoriety and you are considered a high-profile offender," says the report, released to the media Tuesday.

"Your release may cause negative public reaction and a degree of hostility in the community and it is likely that you will experience some significant challenges."

Cheeseman and his brother-in-law, Shawn Hennessey, pleaded guilty to manslaughter for giving James Roszko a rifle and a ride the night before Roszko ambushed the officers near the town of Mayerthorpe in 2005.

Constables Peter Schiemann, Anthony Gordon, Brock Myrol and Leo Johnston were gunned down while guarding a Quonset hut on Roszko's farm as part of a marijuana grow-op and automobile chop-shop investigation.

Roszko, who was shot and wounded by another Mountie, killed himself.

Hennessey was sentenced to 10 years and four months. He applied for early parole last year, but was denied.

Cheeseman was handed seven years and two months. He applied for parole while at Drumheller Institution in 2011, but was also denied. Earlier this year, he cancelled another parole hearing, opting to wait for automatic release after serving two-thirds of his sentence.

The board's report says Cheeseman has been a "model offender" while behind bars, attending school and working as a cleaner. Although he once gave a positive urine test for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

"Staff report that you have been very helpful and that you have an excellent attitude towards staff and your duties."

Cheeseman hasn't lined up a job for when he gets out of prison but plans to live with a relative until he can get his own place, the report says. Other family have also offered to provide support.

In addition to psychological counselling, Cheeseman is to abstain from drugs and alcohol and not associate with people involved in criminal activity.

The conditions remain in effect until his entire sentence expires April 13, 2016.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 2, 2013 A9

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