A Falkland woman who, in 2002, shot and killed her husband and tried to kill his friend has been granted full parole.
The Parole Board of Canada granted full parole to Darlene Alice Young, 49, on May 7, stating she is “at low risk to reoffend,” but the full parole comes with four special conditions.
In a three-page report, the parole board noted that Young’s husband, Skip Payton and a friend arrived at Payton’s residence on March 29, 2002 and found Young sitting at the kitchen table with a shotgun next to her.
As the friend tried to call police, Young shot Payton at point-blank range, killing him instantly. She fired a second shot at the friend and hit him in the buttocks. The friend pretended to be dead.
Young was located by police later in the day at the home of an ex-boyfriend and was taken into custody in the early hours of March 30, 2002 after several hours of negotiations.
Young had no previous charges or convictions but police reports indicate her marriage to Payton was “volatile,” as police attended their home on five occasions between 2001 and 2002. On two occasions, they seized weapons, and Young had previously fired gunshots in the house and outside in Payton’s direction.
Young received a life sentence for second degree murder and attempted murder, and was released on day parole in September 2011 with special conditions.
A psychological assessment of Young conducted on March 6, 2013, states “there is no evidence of mental health issues.”
The assessment also said that risk factors at the time of the shooting for Young included alcohol dependence, a feeling of hopelessness due to her involvement in an unstable relationship, a negative self-view and poor coping skills due to a longstanding history of involvement in abusive intimate relationships.
Since being on day parole, Young has successfully completed a substance abuse treatment program – she’s been sober, says the report, for more than 10 years – with no noted concerns.
She has found employment, lives on her own and the psychologist felt Young presented as “conscientious and hardworking with a positive self-view.”
The psychologist concluded Young is in the low-risk range for reoffending.
“You have made positive changes since the index offences (shootings),” states the parole board report quoting the psychologist. “You have a positive peer circle, are successful occupationally, and express healthy levels of self-confidence and contentment.”
The board did look at the brutality of Young’s offences and considered her “significant” history of alcohol abuse.
However, the board also considered her sobriety and low-risk assessment before granting parole.
The four special conditions Young must obey is to have no director or indirect contact with the victim or any member of the victims’ families; immediately report all sexual and non-sexual relationships and friendships with men to her parole supervisor; not to enter an establishment where the primary source of income is derived from the sale or consumption of alcohol; and not to consume, purchase or possess alcohol.