Day parole extended for Michael White, convicted of killing pregnant wife in 2005

An Edmonton man convicted of killing his pregnant wife and dumping her body in a ditch more than 15 years ago has been granted another six months of day parole.

Michael White, 45, appeared before the Parole Board of Canada earlier this month, and the two-member panel released the reasons for its decision today.

In the document, the board says White – whose day parole from Beaver Creek Institution in Gravenhurst, Ont., has already been extended twice since it began in February of last year – has had “no issues” living at a halfway house, and now spends four nights a week at his fiancée’s home.

But it says he must abide by a number of conditions while on day parole, including that he take part in counselling to address reintegration stressors and healthy relationships, and that he report any relationships and friendships with women.

White was convicted in 2006 of second-degree murder and offering an indignity to a dead body in the death of his wife Liana White. He was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 17 years.

His appeal of the convictions was later rejected by Alberta’s highest court. He has maintained his innocence, including before the parole board.

Liana White was four months pregnant with the couple’s second child when she was fatally stabbed in July 2005. Her body was found in a ditch a few days later by a search party that included her husband.

In its written decision, the parole board noted Michael White has supportive relationships with his daughter, his family and some of his wife’s relatives.

It said he has been in a romantic relationship since January 2019 and got engaged last December, and his fiancée has a “full appreciation” of his history.

While White is assessed as a high risk for domestic violence, there are no concerns with his current relationship, the board said.

“This relationship has been supervised closely, without any known issues or identified stressors. In fact, this relationship is noted to be strong, mature, and enduring,” the board wrote.

The next period of day parole will give White more opportunities for overnight stays in the community, which should help the continuing development of his relationship, the panel said.

Ongoing counselling is “reasonable and necessary” given the nature of White’s offence and his assessed risk of intimate partner violence, it said.

White has shown himself to be motivated and willing to seek help while living at the halfway house, the board said. He has also been working full time, it said.

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