A B.C. Supreme Court judge has stayed charges against Red Scorpions’ gang leader Jamie (James Kyle) Bacon in the notorious Surrey Six murders case, the BC Prosecution Service (BCPS) announced on Friday.
Bacon had been charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit the murder of Corey Lal, one of six people who died on October 19, 2007, at the Balmoral Tower building in Surrey. In 2014, Cody Haevischer and Matthew Johnston were convicted of six counts of first degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder in relation to this case. Both offenders are now serving life sentences with no chance of parole for 25 years.
In an abbreviated ruling, the court announced that an application for a stay of proceedings to terminate the prosecution brought by Bacon had been granted, and the two charges on the indictment have been judicially stayed.
The decision was released by the court in the morning, but the announcement of the result was delayed until the families of the victims could be notified of the decision.
In its ruling, the court concluded that the evidence adduced, the materials filed, and the reasons for entering the stay of proceedings must remain sealed.
The BC Prosecution Service said it is carefully reviewing the court’s decision to determine whether to appeal and will make a further statement once its review is concluded.
In the meantime Bacon remains in custody on a separate charge of counselling the murder of an individual. The trial in that matter is currently scheduled to begin on April 3, 2018. Bacon has not applied for bail on that charge. The Crown would be opposing his release.
In light of the ruling of the court on this matter and the pending decision of the BCPS whether to pursue an appeal, the BCPS said it is unable to comment on the circumstances of the case, the current decision, or the evidence, facts, or materials underlying them.
Meanwhile, Attorney General David Eby said in a statement: “When I learned of the Supreme Court of British Columbia’s decision to stay the charges for James Kyle Bacon, I was shocked, as I’m sure all British Columbians are right now.
“I write these words today with tremendous disappointment.
“The families of the victims and all who have been impacted by this terrible crime deserve peace, and they will not find it today.
“The BC Prosecution Service will be reviewing the court’s decision closely to identify possible avenues of appeal.
“It is important to note that the individual remains in custody on other related charges.
“I am confident that the BC Prosecution Service will complete their review as soon as possible.”
IN September 2016, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Kathleen Ker had announced that Bacon’s trial had been put off until March 2018 because of a raft of pre-trial applications that still hadn’t been heard. Also, the defence wanted charges against Bacon stayed because of the long delay in getting to trial.
Innocent victims Chris Mohan, 22, a South Asian, and Edward J. Schellenberg, 55, of Abbotsford and four other victims who police say led criminal lifestyles – brothers Corey Jason Michael Lal, 21, and Michael Justin Lal, 26, and Edward (Eddie) Sousakhone Narong, 22, and Ryan Bartolomeo, 19 – were executed in typical gang-style fashion at Apartment 1505 of the Balmoral Towers at 9830 East Whalley Ring Road in Surrey on October 19, 2007.
As mentioned earlier, Red Scorpion gangsters Cody Haevischer and Matthew Johnston were each convicted of six counts of first-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder in the Surrey Six murders and received mandatory life sentences of 25 years with no parole eligibility in December 2014.
In November 2013 Michael (Quang Vinh Thang) Le, 28, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in the Surrey Six murder case. Initially, he had been charged with one count of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Consequently, a charge of first-degree murder for the murder of Corey Lal was stayed. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison. But his term was to end in less than a couple of years because he got double-time credit for pre-sentence custody since 2009. The Harper government since did away with double-time credit.
Person X, who cannot be identified because of a publication ban, pleaded guilty in April 2009 to the murders of three victims and to conspiracy to commit murder. He is serving a life sentence with no parole for 15 years.
In December 2015, Sophon Sek, who had been charged with manslaughter and break and enter in the Surrey Six murder case, pleaded guilty to break and enter with intent to commit an indictable offence. The manslaughter charge was stayed. He was to serve 285 days in prison consecutively with the six years he was serving on drug and firearms charges.
1,200 to 1,400 identified individuals associated to gangs and organized crime in B.C.