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VANCOUVER — A British Columbia man who murdered four people as a teenager has been granted day parole.

James Ruscitti is serving a life sentence for the June 22, 1996 shooting deaths of his parents Rocco and Marilyn Ruscitti, his brother’s 17-year-old girlfriend and a boarder who lived in their home near 100 Mile House, 500 kilometres northeast of Vancouver.

Now 34, Ruscitti was 15 when he and a 14-year-old accomplice committed the crimes.

A National Parole Board decision said Ruscitti is considered a moderate to high risk for violent reoffending and has made some progress.

“You present as remorseful for your criminal behaviour and determined to remain crime free in the future,” the board said in a written decision.

However, it also noted that a psychologist said in April that he was “cautiously supportive” about day parole as the next step in Ruscitti’s reintegration into society.

Ruscitti must return nightly to an undisclosed minimum-security facility where he has been living since 2010.

His last bid for day parole was denied in 2013, after which he was cited for using marijuana.

Last year, Ruscitti was granted temporary unescorted absences from prison to participate in a residential treatment program on Vancouver Island as part of a “very gradual” reintegration into society.

But the board said Ruscitti failed to fully disclose a female relationship during that time, contrary to conditions.

His day parole requires the same condition, along with four others, including not using or buying drugs or alcohol and to get counselling to address his emotional instability and adjustment to the community.

“Your program participation was good and you made positive gains but there were concerns regarding the consistency of open communication with your parole supervisors,” the board said.

“In particular, you failed to be completely open and honest with your parole supervisor in regard to your signouts and destinations from the community residential facility in which you were residing.”

Though he sold drugs and used marijuana, cocaine and LSD, Ruscitti was “sober and enraged” during the execution-style shootings, noted the parole board previously.

Ruscitti was living alone and dealing drugs at the time and returned home one day to learn his residence had been searched. He found out his father and the boarder, Dennis O’Hara, were responsible.

After the murders, Ruscitti left his two-month-old niece in a room with her dead mother, Christine Clarke. The child was discovered two days later near death from dehydration.

Ruscitti shot all the victims and his is accomplice, Chad Bucknell, also shot O’Hara. Bucknell was granted full parole four years ago.


Camille Bains, The Canadian Press

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