Ian Mulgrew: Bank-robbing killer's extradition fight continues | Vancouver Sun
Advertisement 1

Ian Mulgrew: Bank-robbing killer's extradition fight continues

PAROLE BOARD: "Based on the nature and severity of your offending, your poor history under community supervision...your conditional release would constitute an undue risk to society if released on day or full parole."

Article content

A bank robber who murdered his accomplice and was imprisoned in 1993 has not yet lost a decades-long battle from his cell to evade further U.S. incarceration thanks to the B.C. Court of Appeal.

The province’s top court has stopped his immediate extradition and told the justice minister to reconsider a proposal from the man to serve any American sentence in Canada.

Advertisement 2
Story continues below
Article content

Once prosaically named Gregory Lloyd Hanson, Iridian Mishael Grenada has refused parole for years because, if released, he would have been handed to the Americans for robbing a California bank.

Article content

Grenada maintained he should be allowed to do his time here because U.S. prisons are too harsh and the expected lengthy sentence would destroy his family.

He insisted he found love behind bars, joined the Metis nation, adopted Native spirituality, and is rehabilitated — although the parole board isn’t so sure.

In his support, UBC Professor Emeritus Michael Jackson said Grenada faced an “invidious and stark choice that in the annals of extradition cases few if any other Canadians have faced.”

Grenada started his robbery career in the 1980s and was imprisoned for several years. Released on mandatory supervision in April 1992, he continued his nefarious calling.

On Dec. 22, 1992, he robbed a bank in El Cajon, Calif., armed with an apparent briefcase bomb and a semi‑automatic pistol in a shoulder holster. He fled with $39,000.

In February 1993, Grenada was arrested in Canada. Sentenced to eight years, he escaped in May 1994 and went on a Montreal robbery spree before slaying his accomplice.

Article content
Advertisement 3
Story continues below
Article content

Grenada pleaded guilty to the crimes in January 1995 and continues serving the second-degree murder sentence, life without parole eligibility for 13 years.

The Americans asked for his extradition in August 1997, and the legal fight began.

In November 2003, Ottawa ordered Grenada surrendered but only when released from his Canadian sentence. He applied to have the decision declared invalid, but lost.

Grenada met his wife while incarcerated and they have been married for over 20 years. She filed an affidavit saying his surrender would crush their marriage.

When he became eligible for day parole in November 2004, he declined to apply and waived subsequent hearings.

The appeal panel noted Grenada had become a member of the Métis Nation of B.C. and been involved in Indigenous cultural activities while in prison. He joined the Quebec Native Alliance and Rising Eagle Aboriginal Wellness group at the Cowansville Institution southeast of Montreal.

In July 2005, Grenada said he would agree to a temporary surrender and plead guilty as long as he was returned to serve his sentence in Canada. He was told the extradition treaty did not allow that.

Advertisement 4
Story continues below
Article content

In 2014, Grenada changed his name and, in 2017, asked the government to reconsider the 2003 order. Justice Minister David Lametti agreed because of the “exceptional circumstances.”

Eight months before the decision, Grenada applied to the appeal court for judicial review.

In March 2020, Grenada applied for parole for the first time, and for judicial interim release, asserting he was rehabilitated.

He argued he should initially receive unescorted temporary absences to his wife’s Abbotsford home, then to his place of worship, and ultimately be released on full parole to Kamloops, where he and his wife will care for his elderly, ailing parents.

Appeal Court Justice David Harris concluded last July that Grenada had undergone a “profound personal transformation” and redeemed his life to become a “person of faith and a committed family man.”

Nevertheless, he had qualms about releasing him, opting to adjourn until after the parole board ruling.

In October, it rejected his release: “Based on the nature and severity of your offending, your poor history under community supervision, your lack of (Case Management Team) support and primarily due to the fact you have yet to demonstrate your capacity to manage your risk factors across a variety of less-restrictive environments, the Board finds it has sufficient reliable and persuasive information to determine that your conditional release would constitute an undue risk to society if released on day or full parole.”

Advertisement 5
Story continues below
Article content

Grenada needed “to develop your understanding of the daily stressors you could encounter and to demonstrate your ability to cope effectively, use your program skills and supports to manage yourself in a pro‑social manner.”

He appealed, but lost. He remains in the medium‑security Mission Institution.

Lametti, too, didn’t buy Grenada’s extensive submissions and, in November, ordered him immediately extradited.

“You have now effectively served that sentence, and by your own admission, only refused to apply for parole until recently in order to evade surrender. The Parole Board refused to grant your recent parole application as they were concerned about releasing you into the community. I am satisfied that it is now in the interests of justice that you be surrendered to the United States to face prosecution.”

The appeal division, however, unanimously told him to reconsider.

“In my opinion, Minister Lametti made an error of law in agreeing with the 2005 advice of the International Assistance Group that a Minister of Justice did not have the authority to make a temporary surrender under s. 66 unless the Treaty also authorized a temporary surrender in the case in question,” Justice David Tysoe wrote.

“The authority given to the Minister of Justice under the Act can be exercised as long as the extradition partner is agreeable, even if it is not expressly permitted by the applicable treaty.”



Article content

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.


To contribute to the conversation, you need to be logged in. If you are not yet registered, create your account now - it's FREE.

Join the Conversation
Latest National Stories
    Advertisement 1
    Story continues below
    This Week in Flyers