Murder trial in Kelowna hears about gun found in bushes

KELOWNA - A landscaper has told a court in Kelowna about finding a gun in some bushes weeks after a gang leader was fatally shot nearby.

Bobcat operator Joel Whitsel testified in B.C. Supreme Court on Monday, June 12, saying he originally thought what he had found in the bushes on Nov. 1, 2011, was a badly rusted paintball gun.

"I stopped to relieve myself, went over to the junipers to do that, and noticed it in there," he said.

The landscaping crew examined the item and determined it was a real firearm, with a magazine still in the clip, Witsel said.

"It looked like an AK-47," he said, adding that his knowledge of what such a weapon looks like came from movies and video games.

He said the gun was then turned over to police.

Court heard that the site where Whitsel was working was about three kilometres from the hotel where Red Scorpion leader Jonathan Bacon was killed on Aug. 14, 2011.

Three other people were injured in the shooting, including a woman who was left paralysed.

Jason McBride, Michael Jones and Jujhar Singh Khun-Khun have been charged with first-degree murder in Bacon's death. Each of the men has also been charged with four counts of attempted murder.

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