Justice took much too long, says Surrey Six victim's mother as Jamie Bacon pleads guilty
VANCOUVER -- Thirteen years after one of the most notorious gang killings in BC history, a man charged in connection with the case has now pleaded guilty.
Jamie Bacon, who has been identified in previous trials as the former leader of the Red Scorpion gang, entered a guilty plea Thursday afternoon to conspiracy to commit the murder of 21 year-old Corey Lal, one of the victims of the Surrey six killings in October 2007.
Six people ended up being killed in execution-style shootings in a Surrey condo, including two innocent bystanders: Chris Mohan, who lived across the hall, and Ed Schellenberg, who was doing maintenance work on a gas fireplace.
Eileen Mohan, Chris Mohan’s mother, was in court to hear the pleas.
“He could have done this 10 years ago,” she said. “He made a calculated plea deal to set himself free.”
In May, the B.C. Court of Appeal had ordered a new trial for Bacon in connection with the Surrey six killings after prosecutors appealed a December 2017 stay of the charges involved. Bacon had also originally been charged with first degree murder in the case. That charge is now expected to be stayed.
Crying could be heard in court as Bacon appeared by video. He also pleaded guilty to counselling to commit murder in connection with a 2008 shooting.
The Crown and defence are making a joint sentencing submission of 18 years on the conspiracy charge, and 10 for the counselling charge, to be served concurrently. The maximum possible sentence carried by each charge is life, and there is no minimum sentence. Bacon has been in jail since his arrest in 2009, and will also get credit for time already served.
Outside court, Bacon’s defence lawyer Kevin Westell said if the judge accepts their proposal, factoring in time served, his client will have “somewhere between five or six years left to serve.”
“This has been a long, deliberative process of coming to the right agreement with the Crown,” Westell said. “We think, for many reasons, we’ve come to a resolution that’s principled, and is appropriate from all sides.”
Mohan said she hopes the judge considers how long it’s taken to come to this point.
“Mr. Bacon has dragged us since 2009, to plead guilty, and he didn’t. So maybe the judge will take that into account, and give him the sentence that’s really due to him,” she said. “It’s not just my son’s life. And that has to be taken into consideration, that six people’s lives meant something to this country and to the laws of Canada.”
Sentencing is scheduled for July 23. Mohan intends to read a victim impact statement in court at that time.
“I will have my day in court with him,” she said. “He will not escape me. He has escaped me for 13 years.”