Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon case
A judge has declared a mistrial in the case of Jamie Bacon, charged in an alleged murder-for-hire plot stemming from a New Year’s Eve shooting in 2008.
On Saturday night, Justice Catherine Wedge of the B.C. Supreme Court declared a mistrial after the jury informed her that it couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict, according to the B.C. Prosecution Service and lawyers for Bacon.
The jury began its deliberations Thursday evening.
Tony Paisana, a Vancouver criminal lawyer not affiliated with the case, told CTV News deadlocked juries were “not terribly common” and that a judge will typically first “exort” the jury to make the best efforts they can to come to a conclusion.
“[We] shouldn’t read too much into the amount of time [of deliberations],” Paisana said. “It’s really about the nature of the deadlock.”
Bacon was charged with one count of counselling to commit murder in the Dec. 31, 2008, shooting of Dennis Karbovanec. Karbovanec survived the alleged murder attempt.
During the trial, which began February 4, the alleged gunman and a second man who says he lured Karbovanec to the shooting location both testified against Bacon. Neither witness can be identified because of a publication ban.
Bacon’s defense reportedly argued that neither witness was credible and also argued there were mistakes in the police investigation and handling of evidence.
Karbovanec is currently serving a life sentence for pleading guilty to three counts of second degree murder in connection with the Surrey Six case.
Paisana says cases like this can be turned around and re-tried within a few months and there will be pressure on the Crown to set a new trial date.
Bacon has been in custody since 2009.
“One thing that [Crown always tries] to keep in mind in a case like this, where the accused is in custody accruing time served, is [if found guilty] whether or not the sentence at the end of the day will be any longer than the time served already in custody,” Paisana said.
Under Canada’s Criminal Code, someone who counsels another person to commit a crime is liable to the same punishment as the person who commits the offense.
Attempted murder can carry up to a maximum of life in prison.
Crown says Bacon’s next appearance will be June 14 to schedule further proceedings.
With files from the Canadian Press