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Family dreads parole hearing for killer

Angie Richards' murderer has served 18 years behind bars

Angie Richards' family and friends are dreading an upcoming trip to Vancouver Island for a parole hearing of the man convicted of murdering the young woman two decades ago.

Richards, a 24-year-old New Westminster native, was murdered in her Langley apartment in June 1992. After working in Japan for a short time, she had returned home, and moved to a Langley apartment in May 1992, and began training in Langley to become a helicopter pilot.

Wayne Alexander Perkin, who lived with his wife in the apartment across the hall from Richards, was charged with her murder. Following a 12-week trial, he was convicted of second-degree murder in May 1994 and sentenced to life in prison, with no chance of parole for 18 years.

"We will be there at every parole hearing this man gets. Till the day I die, I'll be there," Richards' mom Lorna told The Record in 1994. "That is the only thing that will make me the least bit happy. He took away something very precious, not just to me but to the world. She would have made a difference. She made so many people happy. So many people thought she was their best friend."

Richards, a former Miss New Westminster, had attended Lord Kelvin Elementary School and New Westminster Secondary School. Eighteen years after Perkin's conviction, the parole board has informed her family and friends that Perkin has requested parole and a parole hearing will be held on Sept. 6.

In 2006, the National Parole Board denied Perkin's request for escorted temporary absences.

"We were happy it was denied," said Richards' longtime friend Ben Doyle. "We knew one day he would be seeking day parole."

Doyle said Perkin had applied for a parole hearing last year, but cancelled the hearing. He can cancel at any time.

According to Doyle, the parole board will consider two simultaneous applications on Sept. 6 - one for unescorted temporary absences, and another for day parole, which would see him living in a halfway house where he'd be free during the day and stay at night.

Doyle said Richards' loved ones have already dealt with the horrible news of her murder, learned the horrid details of that crime and endured the painful process of sitting through a trial - and now they're compelled to attend a parole hearing on her behalf.

"You want to close that door and it keeps getting open again," he said. "It's very upsetting."

Doyle has submitted an impact statement to the parole board, calling it yet another terrible experience that he's had to endure because of Richards' murder. He says it's a crime that never should have been committed.

"Angie was a victim while he was on parole," he said. "He was on parole when he murdered Angie."

Perkin was on parole for aggravated sexual assault and unlawful confinement at the time of Richards' murder. A jury found him guilty of luring a woman to a shed at an Aldergrove townhouse complex in June 1987, where he bound and gagged her, sexually assaulted her and repeatedly hit her over the head with a ball peen hammer. (He was acquitted of a charge of injecting her with cocaine.)

"He served under half his time, then the parole board let him go," the victim told The Record in 1994. "I don't really feel like justice has been served."

The Crown's theory was that Richards was killed on Saturday, June 13, 1992, after being struck in the head and then repeatedly stabbed. Justice Ian Josephson's decision stated that Perkin (a champion kickboxer) was capable of killing with his bare hands, but noted that a witness testified he had wanted to make the murder appear to be the act of a jealous woman.

A website titled What You Really Need to Know - About Wayne Perkin's Conviction states that he is an innocent man convicted of a crime he didn't commit. The website states that there were procedural law mistakes and evidence mistakes that led to a wrongful conviction, including testimony from jailhouse informants who weren't reliable, the destruction of DNA evidence, and the failure of police to investigate other suspects.

"Angie was a totally innocent woman who was completely defenceless to his grotesque and brutal violence. But, his path of destruction did not end there. He put us through the agony of a long and painful trial. He spoke with anger toward Angie's family in media interviews, as if he had any right to be angry with them. He stole Angie's life from her family and her friends, yet tried to paint himself as the victim of a wrongful charge and conviction," Doyle wrote in his impact statement, which he will read Sept. 6 at the minimumsecurity facility on Vancouver Island where he's incarcerated. "And as the years went on, did he work toward taking responsibility? The answer: absolutely not! In fact, he contacted the innocence project to see if anyone there would believe his lies. If you doubt this statement, just ask him about the website that was created to carry his lies through to the Internet. It serves as a wrong-way vehicle to spread his lies and to smear Angie's name. It is disgusting. I wish Angie could deliver an impact statement as to how much she lost."

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