Murderer granted leave from prison

Bonnie Belec
Published on March 21, 2014

A man convicted of killing his mother’s fiancé in 2004 has begun his reintegration back into society and still maintains his innocence.

Derrick Allen, 48, formerly of Portugal Cove, was found guilty of second-degree murder by a jury for his involvement in the brutal stabbing death of Marvin Squires.

He was sentenced to the minimum 10-year parole ineligibility for the crime.

Part of the reason for the unusually low sentence was the fact it was not clear at either of Allen’s two murder trials, or the three trials of his then friend and co-accused, John Cousins, what his role was.

According to a Parole Board of Canada decision released March 18, when board members asked Allen questions about his substance abuse and criminal history, he told them he didn’t commit the murder.

“You admit you are guilty of trying to cover it up after the fact and that you did express in your own words that you had killed the victim; yet you are unable to explain why you made those comments,” the decision said.

Squires was 59 at the time of his death and was murdered in the home he shared with Allen’s mother, Mildred Allen.

Derrick Allen and Cousins also lived at 18 Western Gully Rd. in Portugal Cove on March 28, 1994 — the day Squires was murdered.

Both Cousins and Allen were arrested that evening and charged with second-degree murder and subsequently convicted.

Cousins was sentenced in 1999 to life in prison with no eligibility for parole for 18 years.

It was believed that Cousins was the instigator of the attack against Squires after a night of drinking and smoking drugs.

Since his incarceration, Allen’s eligibility for unescorted temporary absences, day parole and full parole have come and gone. However, Allen has had more than 100 escorted temporary absences since 2011, the parole board said.

In September 2013, he was also approved for work release.

The decision said Allen’s time away from prison has been incident free and he has passed several urinalysis tests. A condition of his release is that he not use drugs or alcohol.

Allen has since requested un­escorted temporary absences, which were recommended by Correctional Service of Canada and granted by the board on March 14.

However, the decision noted, “local police are opposed to any initiative that will bring you into the community.”

It doesn’t say where that community is.

Allen has been granted 12 unescorted temporary absences — two for 48 hours and 10 for 72 hours, including travel time.

“The board has not lost sight of the very serious nature of your offence and its impact on others,” said the decision.

However, the panel also said since the time the offence occurred, Allen has demonstrated ongoing changes in attitude and behaviour.

It described his case plan and the completion of several programs as a “fairly positive scenario,” except for the fact he continues to minimize his role in Squires’ murder.

“Nevertheless, the board notes that you understand the severity of that situation, the fact that it was the ultimate of crimes and the profound impact it has had on the lives of others,” it said.

During Allen’s sentencing, Squires’ family members said the murder had caused feelings of anger, frustration, sadness, guilt, intolerance and loss.

One relative said it took away her faith in people.

Allen was eligible to apply for unescorted temporary absences and day parole in June 2008 and full parole in June 2011.

Conditions of his release include that he report relationships with females, abstain from alcohol and drugs, and not associate with anyone involved in criminal activity.