Man who orchestrated Mission murders gets day parole after serving less than three years

Victims’ parents express grief, outrage over parole board decision

The man who was convicted of organizing the murder of Mission’s Lisa Dudley and Guthrie McKay is out on day parole after serving less than three years of a 10-year sentence.

It’s shocking news to the parents of the victims.

Dorothy McKay said the fact that one of her son’s killers was out on parole has brought up some powerful emotions.

“I’m deeply sickened that the parole is happening so soon,” she said.

READ MORE: Final man gets 10 years in 2008 killing of Mission couple

Thomas Robert Holden, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the deaths of Lisa Dudley, 37, and Guthrie McKay, 33, who were shot in a home on Greenwood Drive in rural Mission on Sept. 18, 2008. A neighbour found them four days later.

McKay was pronounced dead at the scene after suffering from three gunshots, while Dudley, who had been shot once in the head and once in the neck, was still alive. She was airlifted to hospital where she later died.

Four men were eventually charged: Jack Woodruff, Justin MacKinnon, Bruce Main and Holden.

Holden was sentenced in February 2017, in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster, after admitting his involvement in both deaths. He became eligible for day release on Oct. 3.

Dorothy McKay said the fact that Holden has been granted day parole after such a short time “trivializes two people’s lives.”

“I can’t express the deep profound loss this has been for our lives, of losing our son. We’ve been kind of quiet all through this. It’s been very painful and we needed to do some healing. This resurfacing again just opens it all up. It’s very hard on the family,” she said adding her son was a “lover of life.”

READ MORE: Parents want belongings returned

Lisa Dudley’s step-father Mark Surakka expressed similar feelings of despair and anger.

“When Rosemarie (Dudley’s mother) got the call that he was asking for it (day parole) and then a week or so later she got a call that he had received it, that was a pretty hard slap in the face for her.”

He said the decision devalues human life.

“How is it possible for someone who orchestrates a double murder, directs it and then gets off. What kind of message does that send to society? Is that a deterrent?

“It’s a year and four months per murder,” said Surakka.

While the decision was devastating, Surakka said he was not surprised or shocked.

“People keep blaming it on the system, but it isn’t. It’s the individuals in the system, the judge, the parole board, they are the people responsible for the decisions.”

What makes it even worse, according to Surakka is that Holden will be eligible for full parole in March 2020.



kevin.mills@missioncityrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Food Bank boss Feezah Jaffer on Cheerios box

It’s part of a General Mills campaign honouring food bank heroes

Surrey history buff transcribes her way to a provincial award

‘It can be tedious work but it’s also very interesting,’ Diane Johnson says

Surrey’s Alan Clegg sits down for a socially-distanced chat about his life in Cloverdale over the years

Clegg chats about his time as a volunteer firefighter, 1962’s Typhoon Freda, and how he’s been holding up during COVID-19

Appeal court overturns Surrey sexual assault acquittal, orders new trial

Appeal court judge says Surrey court failed to consider evidence of ‘passive dishonesty’

Surrey cadets need new home as COVID-19 limits options for growing 767 Dearman squadron

‘We’re now the second largest air cadet squadron in the province,’ commander says

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Most Read