THE BC Prosecution Service (BCPS) announced on Monday that the Crown has filed an appeal with the Court of Appeal for British Columbia asking that the court set aside the stay of proceedings ordered by the BC Supreme Court in R v James Kyle Bacon.
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 an abbreviated ruling released on December 1, 2017, the BC Supreme 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 had been judicially stayed.
The BC Prosecution Service said it has reviewed the decision of the court and in accordance with the BCPS policy on appeals to the Court of Appeal, is satisfied that:
(1) the ruling reveals errors of law;
(2) a reasonable argument can be made that the ruling would not necessarily have been issued if the errors were not made; and
(3) the public interest requires an appeal.
On the appeal, the BCPS will be asking that the stay of proceedings be set aside and that a new trial be ordered. Although the fact of the appeal is public, it is anticipated that further filings with the court as well as some or all of the appeal proceedings will be sealed or closed to the public, given the nature of the ruling under appeal.
As the matter is now under appeal and remains the subject of a sealing order, there will be no further comment by the BCPS on the circumstances of the case, the decision under appeal, or the grounds for the appeal.
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.
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.