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Woman who pressured boyfriend to kill his ex in 2000s granted absences from prison

Melissa Todorovic, publicly known only as M.T. before being sentenced as an adult for the murder of Stefanie Rengel, is seen in an undated image. (Toronto Police Service) Melissa Todorovic, publicly known only as M.T. before being sentenced as an adult for the murder of Stefanie Rengel, is seen in an undated image. (Toronto Police Service)
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A woman who pressured her boyfriend into killing his teenage ex more than a decade ago will be allowed to leave prison for weeks at a time.

In a hearing Wednesday morning, a Parole Board of Canada panel granted Melissa Todorovic, now in her early 30s, four 15-day unescorted absences to a halfway house.

During the hearing, Todorovic argued longer absences would help her better prepare for day parole and her eventual reintegration in the community.

She said the 72-hour unescorted absences she completed in the past were too short, leaving her ill-equipped and "overwhelmed" on day parole, which was then revoked after a few months.

Todorovic was convicted of first-degree murder in 2009 for ordering her then-boyfriend, David Bagshaw, to kill 14-year-old Stefanie Rengel. Both of them were sentenced to life in prison, but Todorovic was able to apply for parole after seven years.

Todorovic, who was 15 at the time, grew jealous of Rengel because the girl had briefly dated Bagshaw years earlier. She repeatedly threatened to end her relationship with Bagshaw or withhold sex unless he killed Rengel.

Bagshaw eventually stabbed Rengel multiple times on New Year's Day 2008 in Toronto.

In 2018, Todorovic was granted six months of day parole, but she was brought back to prison early after the parole board found she was involved in a secret love triangle.

The board found she had breached a condition of her release that required her to disclose any new relationships. The condition was imposed because unhealthy relationships played a central role in the murder.

Her day parole was eventually revoked and Todorovic's appeal of the ruling was dismissed.

The same condition -- that Todorovic report any relationships or friendships to her supervision team -- was among those imposed Wednesday for the unescorted temporary absences.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 17, 2024.

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