Sexual assault charges stayed for man arrested while on parole for murder

Christopher Alexander, convicted of a 1998 murder in Terrace, was charged last year for alleged offences in Abbotsford

Linda LeFranc

Sexual assault charges have been stayed against a man who was arrested in Abbotsford last year while on parole for the brutal 1998 murder of a Terrace, B.C. woman.

Christopher Maurice Alexander, 34, was scheduled to start the first day of his trial on Tuesday in Abbotsford provincial court, but Crown counsel announced that the two sex assault charges had been stayed.

Dan McLaughlin, spokesman with the Criminal Justice Branch, said the matter was stayed because a Crown witness “was unable or unwilling to attend the proceedings.”

“The prosecutor concluded that, without this witness, the prosecution was no longer viable … The Crown must be satisfied that there is a substantial likelihood of a conviction at all stages of the proceedings,” he said.

Alexander was arrested in June 2016 in Abbotsford for breaching his parole and was charged with sexual assault not long after.

He had been on parole after serving time for the murder of his neighbour Linda LeFranc, 36, of Terrace.

Alexander was 17 years old in December 1998, when he broke into LeFranc’s home and stabbed her 83 times with a knife taken from the kitchen.

Her seven-year-old daughter was in the house at the time.

Alexander was arrested in late 1999 following an RCMP “Mr. Big” operation, during which he admitted to the killing. He received a life sentence in 2002 on a second-degree murder conviction.

Parole eligibility for second-degree murder can range from 10 to 25 years.

Alexander was granted day parole in April 2015, meaning he had to reside in a halfway house and return there nightly.

His parole was revoked when he allegedly began using drugs. He remains in prison on that revocation, and must apply to the Parole Board of Canada to be re-considered for parole.

The sexual assault charges stemmed from alleged offences that occurred in Abbotsford in April and May 2016, involving a woman known to Alexander.

– with files from the Terrace Standard

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