Christopher Bazar shot and killed his best friend, Donald St. Laurent, almost three years ago after a night of boozing and smoking pot. Bazar said the shooting was completely unintentional but he pleaded guilty to manslaughter and, ever since, has been locked up inside a state prison in Concord, New Hampshire.
But in a few weeks Bazar will be a free man again, granted a reduced sentence after less than three years of a 4-to-10 year bid. And the parents of the 29-year-old man he killed, who was his roommate as well as his best friend, were right there pleading for the parole board to grant leniency to their son's killer.
But the St. Laurents' act of forgiveness will not end there. In an act of compassion that would likely be unimaginable to the vast majority of parents, Christopher Bazar -- when his release is finalized in a few weeks -- will accept an invitation from his victim's mother, Deborah St. Laurent, to live in her Nashua, New Hampshire home.
But that's still not the end of the new opportunity his victim's parents say they will grant to Bazar. Donald St. Laurent's father, who is also named Donald, told Bazar that he'll give him a job as a roofer with the construction firm St. Laurent owns.
"It's the end of a long road and the beginning of a new one," Bazar said as he and the parents of his victim warmly embraced after his parole hearing last Thursday. "It's a good day. It's a great day."
The parole board members in New Hampshire cited the St. Laurent's support for Bazar as the main reason why they shaved his sentence down to less than three years.
"I think he's done his time," the elder Donald St. Laurent told the media after the parole board hearing. "I think it's something he's going to have to live with the the rest of his life. I also believe that people deserve a second chance. Nobody's life should be ruined just because they did something stupid once. It finally puts some closure."
The St. Laurents have been in Bazars corner from the beginning, petitioning the court to go easy on him in his initial sentencing.
"He's my other son. My son loved him and I love my son more than life."Do you believe you could ever follow the St. Laurent's example and grant forgiveness to the killer of your child, even providing him a home and a livelihood? Or do you think these parents have gone too far in forgiving Christopher Bazar?