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Parole granted to man involved in 1992 McDonald’s murders in Cape Breton

By Evan Taylor Mar 28, 2024 | 5:11 PM

In a recent decision by the Parole Board of Canada, Freeman MacNeil, now 55, has been granted full parole.

MacNeil was one of three individuals convicted for the murders of three workers at a McDonald’s restaurant in Sydney River, Nova Scotia, over three decades ago. This decision comes after he was allowed day parole in December 2022.

During the parole hearing, MacNeil, who has been characterized as having a low to moderate risk of reoffending, presented a plan for reintegration into society that the board found satisfactory. He expressed his commitment to continuing on a positive path and fulfilling the requirements for full parole.

The crime, which occurred on May 7, 1992, involved MacNeil and two accomplices breaking into the McDonald’s, resulting in the deaths of two employees and the theft of $2,000 from the safe. A third employee was fatally shot as the perpetrators fled the scene.

At the time of the crime, MacNeil was 23 years old. He was convicted on multiple charges, including first-degree murder, second-degree murder, forcible confinement, and robbery. He received a life sentence without the possibility of parole for 25 years.

The 2022 parole decision for Derek Anthony Wood, another individual involved in the incident, resulted in denial, while Darren Muise, the third accomplice, was granted full parole in November 2012 after nearly 20 years of incarceration.

The incident has left a lasting impact on the Sydney River community and is remembered as one of the most tragic events in Nova Scotia’s criminal history.