Parole for pair convicted of widow’s murder

This story contains graphic description of a violent crime.

Two men convicted in the heinous 1996 murder of a 79-year-old Langley City woman are both now on varied levels of parole.

Langley’s Ryan Paul Seddon, who was 15 at the time, and his co-accused Paul Spanevello, of Surrey, who was 19 at the time, were both given “life sentences” for the violent, torturous death of Jeanne Richter.

The Langley Times has learned that Seddon, who is now 32, was denied full and day parole at a parole hearing in February. But the local man, who has spent half his life behind bars, was granted overnight un-escorted temporary absences.

Spanevello, who is now 36, was granted day parole for six months which started in August 2011. It was noted at his hearing that the community where he wanted to live was not supportive of his arrival. The location wasn’t released.

Spanevello was granted parole despite his parole officer reiterating the recommendation to deny day parole, citing Spanevello’s low reintegration potential and lack of progress while in jail. However, he has remained out of trouble while in the medium security prison he has been in.

Both men are assessed moderate to high risk to reoffend. Spanevello has married while incarcerated.

Seddon, in his parole hearing, said he was not ready for full parole and would need a slow integration back into society.

On March 6, 1995, Seddon and Spanevello knocked on the door of Richter’s home in the Uplands neighbourhood. Seddon was an acquaintance of the victim and lived only a block away.

After gaining entry into the widow’s home, both young men began punching and kicking the woman, hitting her over the head with a frying pan so hard, the handle fell off. A telephone cord was used in an attempt to strangle her. She was then stabbed with a large fork and then a knife was put in her back, and her throat slashed.

She was left to die, and the judge who sentenced the two equated the attack to “torture” given that it continued for about 30 minutes. The pair made off with booze, cigarettes, jewelry, $179 in cash and two cameras.

What made the crime even more heinous is that the pair returned two days later to steal the dead woman’s BMW and take more jewelry while the woman’s lifeless body was still in the living room. She was found by police the next day.

The two were arrested for the crimes a few days later.

Evidence in the trial heard that both young men laughed and bragged afterwards about the murder and lacked remorse at the trial.

Parole hearing documents for Seddon show that he has since embraced his Aboriginal roots and completed the Aboriginal Maintenance Program in April 2011.

While in jail, he has had problems with authority and was involved in jailhouse drug trade and has been moved to several different facilities.

Seddon suffers from antisocial personality disorder and at an early age was setting fires and showed physical aggression and substance abuse. But the murder was the first criminal act committed by both Seddon and Spanevello.

A psychological assessment in 2012 indicated that Seddon continues to be a moderate to high risk to reoffend generally and violently. A gradual release was recommended, along with ongoing one-to-one counselling.

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