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  • Judge released suspect 3 weeks before slaying
    • nancy
      Posted Jun 17, 2005 9:15 AM

      Judge released suspect 3 weeks before slaying
      Date: Jun 17, 2005 8:29 AM
      PUBLICATION: WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
      DATE: 2005.06.17
      PAGE: B1
      SECTION: City
      BYLINE: David Kuxhaus and Bruce Owen

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      --------

      Accused was out on bail
      Judge released suspect less than three weeks before slaying

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      --------

      The arrest of a man in connection with a fatal shooting on Pembina
      Highway this week has again raised issues about the bail and parole
      system.

      Tam Le, 29, was free on bail on drug and break-and-enter charges at the
      time of the slaying, according to court documents obtained yesterday by
      the Free Press.

      He had also been released from Stony Mountain Institution six weeks
      earlier after serving part of a 2001 sentence in connection with a drug
      offence, the documents say.

      Le was arrested in the shooting of 28-year-old Miguel Munoz outside a
      Pembina Highway nightclub early Wednesday.

      Le was arrested Wednesday night without incident at a residence on
      Simkin Drive. He has been charged with second-degree murder.

      Le's lawyer, Jay Prober, said he met the accused shortly after his
      arrest.

      "He denied any involvement in the shooting," Prober said, adding Le told
      him he wasn't even at the scene when it happened.

      Munoz, 28, was shot twice in his chest in a parking lot at 2265 Pembina
      Highway across from the Montcalm Gordon Motor Hotel.

      Witnesses have said Munoz had intervened in a fight between two women at
      the bar and that altercation carried over to the parking lot after the
      bar closed at 1:30 a.m.

      Documents obtained from the National Parole Board yesterday say Le had
      his parole revoked last April 5 after he was alleged to have been
      connected to a break-in at a downtown residence.

      Le is presumed to be innocent of all charges unless proved guilty.

      He had been granted full parole Oct. 19, 2002, under an accelerated
      release program about a year after he was sentenced to four years in
      prison in connection with a drug charge.

      That sentence expires June 18.

      With his parole revoked, Le appeared before provincial court Judge Fred
      Sandhu to ask for bail on the break-and-enter charge. Sandhu denied bail
      March 30.

      But Le appealed that decision and was granted bail April 28 by Justice
      Joan McKelvey of Court of Queen's Bench.

      McKelvey's decision meant once Le was released on the parole revocation
      he would not have to go back into custody on the break-and-enter charge.


      Le remained in custody on the parole revocation until he was released
      May 4.

      His bail conditions were that he live with his parents on Simkin Drive
      and only leave the home to go to work -- documents say he's a general
      plasterer -- or for meetings with his bail supervisor.

      He also was to abstain from drugs and alcohol and was prohibited from
      possessing firearms.

      Besides the murder charge, Le has also been charged with failing to
      comply with the conditions of a recognizance. His statutory release has
      also been suspended.

      Police spokesman Patrol Sgt. Kelly Dennison said he could not comment on
      the charges against Le.

      Manitoba Progressive Conservative justice critic Kelvin Goertzen said
      the case raises the issue of a revolving-door justice system.

      "Time and time again criminals in Manitoba have been put back out on the
      street after police have brought them in on previous charges," Goertzen
      said.

      "Who is monitoring these individuals once they are back on the streets?
      What sorts of checks are happening? It seems we lack the will to keep
      them in jail, and lack the resources to monitor them when they are put
      back on the street." Goertzen said an audit should be done to determine
      how vigilant supervision is of individuals on bail, under restrictions
      and on probation, and the results should be made public.



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