Marissa Shephard, who was found guilty of murdering a young Moncton man and was recently granted a new trial, is looking for new friends while in the pen.
Shephard has a profile on Canadian Inmates Connect Inc., a website that bills itself as being “dedicated to federal inmates in search of pen pals. ”
In her profile, Shephard claims she has been “taken advantage of by our poor justice system, but they haven’t defeated me yet!”
“I am a strong, independent woman with wisdom way beyond my years.”
Shephard, along with Tyler Noel and Devin Morningstar, was found guilty in the December 2015 stabbing death of 18-year-old Baylee Wylie.
During last year’s trial, the court heard that Wylie’s body was found in Shephard’s burned-out townhouse in Moncton, N.B
Court documents indicate Wylie, Shephard, Noel and Morningstar gathered at Shephard’s home for “some drug-fuelled excitement” that ended tragically with Wylie being tied to a chair then beaten and stabbed repeatedly.
Morningstar was found guilty of first-degree murder in 2016, while Noel pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 2017. Both received life sentences.
Shephard, who was 20 at the time of her arrest, was found guilty of first-degree murder in May 2018, but was recently granted a new trial by New Brunswick’s Court of Appeal after it was found that a judge committed various errors of law in his charge to the jury.
In Shephard’s profile, she acknowledges that she is still going though court appearances but states she does not talk about her crime.
“I am a girly girl who adores make up and taking care of herself,” her profile states. “I maintain a positive attitude, enjoy a great laugh, I like to do ‘crafty things’ as well as drawing.”
Shephard’s profile, which includes three photos of the now 24-year-old, states she is educating herself on different religions while incarcerated. She also calls herself “humble and easy to get along with.”
She says she’s interested in corresponding with both men and women. She’s one of six women listed on the website.
“I am looking for nothing more than an intelligent conversation and meeting new friends,” the profile concludes.
“Hope to hear from you. Take care.”
Canadian Inmates Connect Inc. says on their website that it serves as a “pathway to connect inmates with the outside world” and to “attract pen pals from across Canada and essentially the world who would be willing to write to an inmate.”
“Allowing inmates the opportunity to communicate with the outside world can help decrease their chance of becoming institutionalized,” the website states. “It can also be a pro-social method to assist with their reintegration back into society, and possibly help reduce the rate of recidivism.”
William Sandeson, a former Dalhousie University medical student who was found guilty of murdering 22-year-old Taylor Samson in August 2015, also has a profile on the website.
Sandeson is serving a life sentence with no parole eligibility for 25 years, but is currently appealing his conviction.