September 24, 2016 - 11:30 AM
VANCOUVER - The trial of a man accused of one count of first-degree murder in an attack that left six people dead has been delayed, pushing it back more than a decade from when the slayings happened in Surrey, B.C.
Justice Kathleen Ker of the B.C. Supreme Court says it's "completely unrealistic" for the trial of Jamie Bacon to begin on Oct. 31 as scheduled, given the considerable pre-trial work that remains to be done.
Bacon, a reputed member of the Red Scorpions gang, has been charged with conspiracy and first-degree murder for his alleged role in the October 2007 slayings, an event that became known as the Surrey Six murders.
His trial is now scheduled to begin on March 5, 2018, with jury selection taking place one month before that date.
The charges stem from a massacre in a 15th-storey apartment in nearby Surrey.
Bacon's trial has already been delayed several times since his arrest in 2009, and court proceedings have taken place behind closed doors in Vancouver for months.
Dan McLaughlin, a spokesman for the province's Criminal Justice Branch, says the trial is expected to take between six and nine months.
Red Scorpion gang members Cody Haevischer and Matthew Johnston were each given life sentences in December 2014 for conspiracy and six counts of first-degree murder in the slayings. Both men filed appeals of the verdicts in January 2015.
The Crown's theory at their trial was that the gang's bosses ordered the men to murder Corey Lal, a rival drug trafficker, and the other five were killed to eliminate witnesses.
Another man pleaded guilty to break and enter with intent to commit an indictable offence for his part in the slayings. He was originally charged with manslaughter in addition to the break-and-enter charge
Eileen Mohan, whose son Christopher was an innocent bystander killed in the attack, was in court for Friday's proceedings.
Afterwards, she described the years-long wait as difficult to handle.
"I appreciate the delay, and I know that the delay is to put systems and procedures in place and get this trial running in the right manner, but it takes a toll," she said outside court.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2016