A fourth person has been found guilty in connection to the fatal beating of a man in a Surrey crack shack in 2006.
Steven Iyoupe, 28, was convicted of manslaughter in New Westminster Supreme Court on Thursday (Nov. 17) for helping kill 45-year-old Garry Glen Harder.
Harder, who police say was a professional kick boxer who became involved in the drug trade, was found lying in a ditch near 103A Avenue and 144 Street on Jan. 29, 2006. He was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead. Investigators determined he was beaten during a drug-related dispute and then dumped in the ditch.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) said Harder had left a crack shack in Surrey with money that wasn’t his and the theft was reported to the dealers who ran the shack.
The victim was taken back to the house where police say he was met by a group who “repeatedly and horrifically” beat him to death over several hours.
“Homicide investigations can be very lengthy but a conviction six years after speaks to the hard work and dedication that IHIT members commit themselves too with each and every homicide investigation,” said IHIT spokesperson Sgt. Jennifer Pound. “Justice is sought for those who have died unfairly.”
Three other people – two men and one woman – were arrested in May of 2008 in connection with Harder’s murder.
William Thomas Walker of Langley was convicted of forcible confinement and aggravated assault and sentenced to seven years in prison.
Lauretta Marie Stevens of Surrey was convicted of unlawful confinement and assault with a weapon and given three years.
Five days after Walker’s and Stevens’ arrests, Jordon Vojkovic of Calgary was arrested in Alberta and returned to Surrey to stand trial. He was convicted of unlawful confinement and manslaughter and was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
Police say they knew a fourth person was involved, but it took two more years to assemble enough evidence to have charges approved by the Crown prosecutor’s office.
Iyoupe’s sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 27.