Jesse Penner's killer will stay behind bars

Ryan Crossley, who killed Port Coquitlam
Ryan Crossley, who killed Port Coquitlam's Jesse Penner in February 2006, will spend at least another year in jail for a prison assault.
— image credit: FILE PHOTO

The young man who killed Port Coquitlam's Jesse Penner in 2006 will spend another year behind bars for an assault he committed in prison.

Ryan Crossley, 22, was due to be released from jail last December after completing his full six-year sentence for Penner's murder. Instead, he was re-arrested for assaults he committed while in prison in Prince Albert, Sask.

On Friday, Crossley was sentenced in a Saskatchewan provincial court to one year in prison for what's believed to be an assault on a fellow inmate. He'll also be under a 10-year firearms prohibition upon his release.

A trial is scheduled for April 4 for a second assault charge, this one involving correctional officers.

"I'm relieved," said Gord Penner, Jesse's father, noting that Crossley suffers from mental health and substance abuse issues and has not taken part in any rehabilitative programs during his time in prison.

"He should be in a secure mental facility," Penner said. "The longer he's off the street is better for all of us. Just because he's served his full sentence doesn't mean he's paid his dues to society."

Since his son's death, Gord Penner has campaigned for improvements to victims' rights and changes to the justice system.

Crossley was out on bail for several violent offences at the time he killed Jesse Penner outside a house party in February 2006; the former Douglas College baseball player was trying to break up a fight. Crossley was just 16 at the time but had already racked up 10 convictions ranging from theft to armed robbery and assault.

At one of his parole hearings, the board noted Crossley had suffered two head injuries at an early age that may contribute to his violent outbursts. At 14, a psychiatrist diagnosed him as having severe conduct disorder.


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