Mangels to face Parole Board again

Jarrod Mangels
Jarrod Mangels
Convicted killer Jarrod Mangels will have another chance at freedom next month, 32 years after he strangled his Arrowtown neighbour.

Maureen McKinnel (38) was murdered on Boxing Day, 1987.

Her naked body was found dumped under the Arrow River bridge five days later.

Her murder went unsolved for 16 years until 2003, when advances in DNA technology matched Jarrod Mangels' DNA to that found under Ms McKinnel's fingernails.

He initially pleaded not guilty during his High Court trial in Invercargill in 2004, but later changed his plea to guilty.

He was sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum non-parole period of 10 years.

A Parole Board spokesman this week confirmed Mangels, now in his 40s, would face the board in March, his fifth appearance.

He became eligible for parole in March 2013. In a report from his last hearing, held in 2017, Mangels was found to still be a high risk for violent offending.

The report notes he had successfully completed a rehabilitation programme, and his behaviour and attitude had "significantly improved".

However, concern remained over his inability to fully accept responsibility for the murder.

Mangels suffered a head injury in 1999, and has maintained he cannot remember the murder. The board spoke to Mangels about accepting responsibility, and the report notes they were "troubled" by some of his responses.

"At one point Mr Mangels appeared to say he wished he had not pleaded guilty."

Before the last hearing, representatives from the McKinnel family said they did not want him released. They were "concerned" he was "hiding behind the claim that he does not remember whether he committed the offence or not".

The board recommended psychological treatment, and the development of a gradual reintegration pathway.

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