Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Notorious wife-killer back behind bars

Stewner's parole nixed less than a year after release

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Kelly Stewner was slain on Portage Avenue near Overdale Street in May 1994. Bruce Stewner was released on day parole in November 2012 but is back in custody.

JEFF DE BOOY / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVES Enlarge Image

Kelly Stewner was slain on Portage Avenue near Overdale Street in May 1994. Bruce Stewner was released on day parole in November 2012 but is back in custody. Photo Store

He was granted parole despite howls of protest from his victim's family and lingering questions about his risk to the public.

Now convicted Winnipeg killer Bruce Stewner is back in custody after botching his shot at freedom, less than a year after he walked out of prison.

Documents obtained by the Free Press show Stewner, 48, had his release revoked earlier this month after getting caught violating numerous conditions.

Stewner cheated on his current wife, got re-involved in drug use, was trolling for sex-trade workers and attempted to sabotage a urine test, according to the National Parole Board.

'Your behaviour demonstrates... that you have limited ability to consider the consequences of your actions, or manage your risk' -- National Parole Board decision

"Your behaviour demonstrates... that you have limited ability to consider the consequences of your actions, or manage your risk," reads the decision. "After reviewing all of the available information, the board concludes that your risk has elevated to an undue level."

Stewner was sentenced in February 1995 to life in prison with no chance of full parole for at least 20 years after a jury convicted him of second-degree murder for the May 1994 killing of his wife, Kelly Lynn Stewner.

Stewner violated a restraining order, chased his wife down Portage Avenue and stabbed her to death in front of horrified witnesses as he stood over her body and shouted "I told you, Kelly. I told you this would happen. You got what you deserved."

Stewner was granted day parole in November 2012 in a decision that was criticized by his victim's family, who called him a master manipulator. He began living in British Columbia.

The parole board said Stewner had made several positive steps while in prison and noted he'd met a woman and married her in April 2011. She went to bat for Stewner at his hearing last year, telling the board she believed he had changed.

However, parole documents show Stewner repaid that loyalty by getting into two extramarital sexual relationships since his release. They weren't reported to prison officials, which was a requirement of his release.

Stewner also admits smoking marijuana, which he blames on another recently released inmate he was hanging out with. Stewner was also "frequenting street workers," information received by the parole board states.

As part of his release, the parole-supervision team vowed to closely monitor Stewner's love life after expressing concerns about his ability to maintain a healthy relationship while in the community.

"You have a history of failed intimate relationships with women that often featured spousal violence," the parole board wrote in its decision, citing a 2010 psychological report.

"There have been suggestions by (prison) staff that you may still need to control and dominate women. Your risk to reoffend violently was assessed as moderate and your risk to reoffend in the context of an intimate relationship was assessed as high."

Stewner was given more than 300 escorted temporary absences from prison between 2008 and 2012. There were no reported incidents or concerns with those brief trips into the community, the parole board reported.

Day parole granted Stewner much more freedom, allowing him to spend considerable time in the community without supervision. He was still required to report nightly to a halfway house and follow numerous conditions, including abstaining from alcohol and following a mental-health treatment plan.

www.mikeoncrime.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 13, 2013 A9

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