Shelburne Free Press
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Export date: Fri Jun 14 12:37:18 2024 / +0000 GMT

Escorted temporary absences granted to individual involved in 2002 murder of Orangeville teen Robbie McLennan


Written By James Matthews

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

One of the people involved in the murder of Orangeville teen Robbie McLennan has been granted escorted temporary absences.

McLennan was 16 when he was tortured and murdered in 2002 in an Orangeville field. Three people were charged with the crime.

William Bronson Penasse was 20 years old at the time of the murder. He pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in 2005 and was sentenced to life in prison. Penasse has since transitioned to a woman in a British Columbia prison and now goes by the name Wendy Olivia Winters.

On March 21, Winters was granted six 10-hour escorted temporary absences over a nine-month period. Details of the parole hearing are under a court-imposed publication ban.

Terry Baker, who was 16 and Winters' girlfriend at the time, was convicted in 2006. She died by suicide in prison in July 2016. She can be identified despite her age at the time of the crime because she pled guilty to first-degree murder.

Another boy who was 16 at the time got 18 months plus time served and five years of probation in December 2004. His identity is protected by the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

McLennan's body was discovered on April 19, 2002, in a field and was virtually unrecognizable after he was punched and kicked, burned with cigarettes, and bludgeoned with large rocks for three hours.

Those involved in the murder had been drinking in the field where McLennan's body was discovered. The boy was murdered as revenge because he laughed at Winters, according to court documents. 

McLennan's first cousin Jen didn't want The Citizen to use her last name. She said the family was upset when notified about the application for the escorted temporary absences.

“But it seemed like a reasonable step within the institution process,” she said. “When we were later notified the offender also applied for day parole, we were livid and frightened. Livid because it seemed too soon for day parole and frightened that someone so dangerous could be released into society.

“Needless to say, we were relieved when day parole was denied.”

She said it's been a trying year so far, given the coroner's inquest into Baker's prison death and then Winters' hearing.

“We are well aware this is just a small victory as we continue down this long journey due to the offenders' senseless and poor choices almost 22 years ago,” she said. “Our focus is to be a voice for Robbie. We celebrate Robbie's birthday this year knowing the offender will remain behind bars for now.”

Post date: 2024-04-18 13:09:47
Post date GMT: 2024-04-18 17:09:47

Post modified date: 2024-04-18 13:09:50
Post modified date GMT: 2024-04-18 17:09:50

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