Ottawa Sun Online: NEWS - Victim's family 'in shock'
Ottawa Sun Online: NEWS - Victim's family 'in shock'

Sat, October 23, 2004

Victim's family 'in shock'
Devastated by news killer could soon be set free


WHILE THEY'RE sentenced to a lifetime of heartbreak, the man who knifed their son through the heart may soon be set free. The Moffitt family is devastated that Henry Danninger, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of their son Andy, could soon be released from jail.

Danninger was sentenced to five years in prison 18 months ago.

But the Brockville family has been notified by the National Parole Board that Danninger, also a Brockville native, has a parole hearing Dec. 8.

"When he finally went to jail, it gave us some closure," Paulette Moffitt said.

"He was finally where he belonged for taking someone's life. We knew we wouldn't see him around.

"We're in shock. I guess it will be like this forever -- we were sentenced with this heartbreak for the rest of our lives."

Danninger was sentenced after fatally stabbing Moffitt, a 23-year-old University of Ottawa engineering student, at the Coyote Bar just before Christmas of 1998.


Danninger, a drug dealer, went to the bar armed with a knife to confront a roommate he thought was stealing his stash.

Moffitt died trying to break up the fight. All his family has as solace is his Governor General's Medal of Bravery.

The Moffitts will have a chance to tell their story to the parole board, said NPB spokesman John Vandoremalen.

Offenders like Danninger are eligible for a hearing after serving one-third of their sentence but that doesn't mean they'll automatically be released, he said.

A two-member panel will consider everything in an offender's history to determine if he or she poses too great a threat to be released. The panel is also looking for evidence that offenders understand what led them to crime and have plans for a law-abiding life.

The panel can choose between day or full parole or deny an offender any kind of release.

Six out of 10 offenders are denied full parole on their first try, but only 250 of 5,000 offenders eligible for statutory release are held until the end of their sentence.

The panel will first consider victim-impact statements from families like the Moffitts, who can also attend parole hearings.

Preparing a victim-impact statement has brought back the horror of their son's murder, Paulette Moffitt said.

She lives in fear of again seeing Danninger walking the streets of Brockville.

"It's like we're reliving everything again," she said.

"All I see is Andy lying on that floor with a knife wound in his heart.

"It's starting all over again for us."

   Letter to the Media
   Bill C-393
   Our Angel
   Thank You
   Mike's Speech
   Memorial Speech
   Andy's Story
   Our Brother