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

Michael Joseph Roberto

Mere months before he is to be returned to the streets, former gangster Michael Roberto remains a danger to the public, parole records show.

In a written ruling confirming Roberto’s detention until he completes his entire prison term, a two-member Parole Board of Canada panel said the confessed killer hasn’t done enough to reform himself.

The board members noted a psychological risk assessment done in February suggests a community supervision order of up to two years following Roberto’s release next April should be considered.

The assessment “indicates that according to both clinical and actuarial data, your risk for general recidivism is moderate and your risk for violent recidivism is high,” the ruling states.

“The clinician noted they believe your risk would be very difficult to manage in the community, given your history, (and) your comfort engaging in instrumental and revenge-motivated violence.”

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 Tr.

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 which 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 innocent bystander Keni Su’a were fatally shot, part of a decade-long gang war which saw two dozen people murdered.

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