Kelly Ellard and her father Lawrence leave the Vancouver courthouse, March 30, 2000. (Canadian Press photo)

Convicted killer Kelly Ellard gets conditional day parole

The B.C. woman killed 14-year-old Reena Virk near Victoria

A British Columbia woman who killed 14-year-old Reena Virk near a Victoria-area bridge two decades ago has been given conditional approval for day parole.

Kelly Ellard was granted day parole for six months but must first complete a residential treatment program for substance abuse.

After six months, the parole board will review the decision. Ellard will be subject to conditions including that she cannot use drugs or alcohol or be in contact with anyone involved in criminal activity, or Virk’s family.

READ: Convicted killer Kelly Ellard gets conditional day parole

Ellard, 35, wiped away tears Thursday as she learned the news. She was 15 when Virk was killed and is serving a life sentence for second-degree murder.

Panel member Colleen Zuk said it goes without saying that Ellard committed a “heinous” crime and that she was largely responsible for Virk’s death.

“It’s very problematic in your case that there have been years and years of deception, of lying about the facts,” Zuk said. “Today we found that you continued to somewhat minimize.”

However, she said she found Ellard to be more transparent than she’d been in the past, including that she admitted to planning to confront and harm Virk and that she wanted to “get rid of her” after the situation escalated to a swarming and a beating.

Zuk also acknowledged that Ellard had done trauma counselling and had the support of her case management team, who described her as making significant progress.

Ellard told the panel before the decision was made that there was nothing Virk could have possibly said or done to deserve such treatment.

“It wasn’t about her,” she said. “She should have been at home with her family who loved her, not with us that night, and I’m very sorry.”

The two-member panel has ruled that the six-month day parole period will begin as soon as Ellard enters the treatment program.

Her parole officer said the last substance abuse issue she had in prison was in June 2015 and she has not been violent in more than a decade.

It’s unclear whether Ellard’s infant son, who lives with her in prison, would be able to join her at the residential substance abuse treatment centre.

She became pregnant last year after having conjugal visits with her boyfriend, who is in prison and is scheduled to return to the community soon.

She said she intends to co-parent with him but that if he commits a crime or starts using drugs, she is prepared to leave him.

“As much as I love him, if I had to let go … for the sake of myself and my child, I would.”

Ellard first applied for day parole in 2016 and was denied, but in February she was granted temporary escorted absences to go to parenting programs and doctor’s appointments with her baby.

She has served about 15 years in prison, having spent some periods out on bail. She was convicted of second-degree murder in 2005 after three trials.

A court heard that Ellard and several other teens swarmed and beat Virk, before Ellard and a teenage boy followed her across a bridge, smashed her head into a tree and held her underwater until she drowned.

Warren Glowatski was also convicted of second-degree murder and granted full parole in 2010.

Ellard has recently assumed more responsibility for her part in the murder, saying she rolled Virk’s unconscious body into the Gorge waterway.

Ellard continued to deny holding the girl’s head underwater on Thursday.

“I am adamant that didn’t happen,” she told the panel. “Someone who had been beaten that badly, you wouldn’t need to hold them under water.”

Zuk and another panel member, Linda Cross, pressed her to explain why she pushed Virk’s body into the water.

Ellard said she was terrified that Virk would tell police about the beating.

“I had never seen anything like that,” Ellard said. “Either she was dead or she was dying. I just wanted to get rid of her.”

Ellard broke down in tears often during the hearing. Cross commented that she appeared to be struggling to speak about drowning Virk.

“It’s a hard thing to hear coming out of my own mouth,” Ellard said.

When asked who was responsible for Virk’s death, she replied, “I am.”

Cross asked her to explain how she was responsible.

“She drowned, and I put her in the water.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

From left to right: Don Smith 1st Vice President, Mayor Aaron Stone, Legion President Darlene Paulson, And Sgt at Arms Greg Paulson. (Submitted photo)
Legion announces changes to Poppy Campaign and Remembrance Day service

There will be no public Remembrance Day service this year

Mary Fox’s new book My Life as a Potter is available at bookstores nationwide. (Cole Schisler photo)
Mary Fox book: My Life as a Potter raises funds for Mary Fox Legacy Project

My Life as a Potter is available now at bookstores nationwide

BC Liberal candidate Duck Paterson on the campaign trail. (Submitted photo)
BC Liberal candidate Duck Paterson clarifies position on climate change

Paterson calls human activity a ‘contributing’ factor and says climate change must be addressed

Property on the Trans Canada Highway beside the Country Maples Campground has been sold and will become a modular home park. (Photo submitted)
Development, business transactions significant for Chemainus

Two highway properties and Owl’s Nest Bakery and Bistro sold

Chris Istace campaigning in Crofton. (Photo submitted)
Green Party’s Istace apologizes for remark about First Nations gaming grants being a ‘handout’

Candidate determined to do better in thinking and communicating matters of reconciliation

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Conservation officers hope the public can provide information about who shot and left a bull and cow Roosevelt elk near Spruston Road, south of Nanaimo. (Photo: Facebook)
Pair of Roosevelt elk shot and left in woods south of Nanaimo

Conservation officers hope public can help find who killed the animals near Spruston Road

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Most Read