Months from his release from prison, Bolsa restaurant killer remains a danger to society, parole board says

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The assessment recommended a “very slow and structured release, with close supervision” when Roberto is eventually freed from prison.

That date is fast approaching, as the offender’s seven years and nine months sentence is set to run out next April 25.

Roberto, 36, was originally convicted of three counts of first-degree murder for his role in the Jan. 1, 2009, New Year’s Day massacre at the Bolsa restaurant off Macleod Trail.

But after the verdict it was learned the Crown’s star witness, identifiable only by the initials M.M., had drunkenly told Mounties in Saskatchewan that he was the real killer.

A new trial was conceded, but before that occurred Roberto brokered a deal to plead to lesser crimes for his co-operation, including committing murder on behalf of a criminal organization.

The reformed gangster was handed the equivalent of a 16-year sentence, but with credit for time already served that term was cut by more than half.

In a July 2018 hearing to determine if Roberto would have to serve his entire time, he told board members he was past his violent lifestyle and now regrets his behaviour, including his role in the Bolsa triple slaying.

“To me, I feel now that all life is precious. No one has the right to take another life,” he said at the time.

Despite his expressed remorse, the board ordered Roberto to serve his entire sentence, a decision that was automatically reviewed in July, before being upheld.

“Since your detention (at that hearing) based on your history of violence you have not made much progress,” the latest decision said.

“Your reintegration potential remains low according to Correctional Service Canada,” it said.

“CSC recommends your detention order be confirmed as they believe you are still likely to commit an offence causing death or serious harm to another person.”

In the Bolsa massacre, rival gangster Sanjeev Mann, his associate Aaron Bendle and bystander Keni Su’a were fatally shot, part of a decade-long gang war that saw two dozen people murdered.

KMartin@postmedia.com

Twitter: @KMartinCourts

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