Armed officers respond to the scene of a home invasion in South Surrey in November 2013.

Murder charges dropped in South Surrey home-invasion

Accused in death of 44-year-old Corey Bennett pleads guilty to manslaughter.

A lack of “good evidence” in the case against two men charged in the home-invasion death of Corey Bennett two years ago in South Surrey has resulted in one pleading guilty to a lesser offence, and charges against the other being abandoned.

“It just really was a reassessment of the evidence that we have,” prosecutor David Simpkin explained this week of the evolution of charges against Donald James Chad Jr. to manslaughter from murder. “This isn’t something that happened overnight.”

Chad was facing trial for murder in B.C. Supreme Court in connection with Bennett’s November 2013 death.

Bennett, 44, was pronounced dead in hospital following a late-night incident that police described as a “targeted home invasion” at a house in the 2600-block of King George Boulevard.

Chad and co-accused Mathieu Rene Bernard were arrested about two weeks later; Bernard was charged with manslaughter.

Both men were also charged with “where a firearm is used in the commission.”

Simpkin said the charges against Bernard were stayed outright “a couple months ago.”

Chad, who has been in custody since his arrest, pleaded guilty to manslaughter using a firearm – along with a second firearm offence – on Aug. 21.

As a result of the plea, the murder charge against Chad was stayed in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster last week.

Simpkin said both police and Bennett’s family were involved in the decision, which he described as “the right thing to do.”

Sentencing submissions are to be heard Nov. 10 in Surrey Provincial Court.

 

Just Posted

Surrey-North Delta Meals on Wheels in ‘desperate’ search for new partner

Without a new kitchen found by Sept. 1, the charity says it won’t have food to deliver to those in need

Why school portables are a ‘way of life’ in Surrey

THIRD IN A SERIES: A look at concerns surrounding Surrey’s 300-plus portables

Surrey-led StatsCan project sheds light on overdose victims

Findings from ‘unprecedented’ case-study to be used to fight national opioid crisis

Grieving mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Cloverdale community steps up, funds school’s first-ever grad dinner

Thanks to the generosity of several donors, Cloverdale Learning Centre celebrated in style

VIDEO: B.C. First Nation plans to launch legal challenge after Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, Premier John Horgan says he’ll continue to defend the B.C. coast

Unexpected snow blankets the Okanagan Connector

As of 6:50 a.m. DriveBC cameras displayed surprise snowfall on highway

Driver loses tire while behind the wheel after lug-nut thief strikes in Burnaby

Burnaby RCMP are investigating after two reports of lug-nut tampering in the city this month

Federal cabinet ministers visit Edmonton, Calgary, in wake of TMX approval

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi is set to visit Trans Mountain Corp.’s terminal in Edmonton

B.C. municipality prepares to forbid overnight camping by homeless despite court ruling

While courts have ruled against blanket bans, Langley City is employing a site-by-site approach

B.C. auditor says Indigenous grad rate highest ever but education gaps exist

The percentage of Indigenous students graduating from B.C. public high schools has hit its highest level ever

Statistics Canada reports annual pace of inflation rises in May to 2.4%

Transportation prices gained 3.1 per cent as the cost of air transportation added 8.9 per cent

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Metro Vancouver’s air quality could be the worst yet this wildfire season

As wildfire season approached, Metro Vancouver experts predict the air will be an issue for many

Most Read