Trial for gangland slaying of Jonathan Bacon takes a turn

Charges for three men charged in the 2011 murder of B.C. gangster Jonathan Bacon have changed

Only one man is now charged with the 2011 murder of B.C. gang leader Jonathan Bacon and he’s expected to plead guilty.

New charges listed on court documents show Jujhar Khun-Khun and Michael Jones are now facing a charge of conspiracy to commit murder, while Jason McBride alone is charged with murder.

The BC Prosecution Service filed a new indictment April 19 and it is as follows:

“On Aug. 14, 2011, at or near Kelowna, in the Province of British Columbia, Jason Thomas McBride did commit the second degree murder of Jonathan Bacon. He is also charged with attempting to murder Larry Amero, James Riach, Leah Hadden-Watts and Lyndsey Black, by discharging that firearm at Larry Amero, James Riach, Leah Hadden-Watts and Lyndsey Black.”

The indictment also says that Khun-Khun and Jones conspired with McBride, Suhkveer Dhak and others to commit the murder of Amero, Riach and Bacon, throughout the months leading to the shooting at locations across B.C.

“The matter has now been adjourned to May 1,” said Dan McLaughlin of the BC Prosecution Service.

“It is anticipated that guilty pleas will be entered at that time to all charges on the new indictment and the sentencing hearing will proceed on the basis of a joint submission.”

It’s unclear what led to the change in charges, but the trial that has already taken 11 months of court time was expected to resume this spring after a lengthy hiatus.

READ MORE: OPENING STATEMENTS

In opening statements in May of 2017 Crown counsel Dave Ruse said he had evidence the Aug. 14, 2011 shooting was the result of Khun-Khun, McBride and Jones working together to execute an order made by rival gangster Sukh Dhak.

He told the court that Suhk Dhak—the lead member of the gang the Dhak Group— believed that his brother Gurmit Dhak had been killed by Amero, a Hells Angels, and Riach, an associate of the Independent Soldiers and “their crew” which included Bacon, the leader of the Red Scorpions.

For that, he wanted revenge.

READ MORE: OUT OF CONTROL GANG WAR

“Dhak said he wanted to target those people and he wanted them killed,” said Ruse, May 29, 2017

“He instructed (associates) to hunt for those targets … hunting included identifying locations frequented by the targets, identifying vehicles driven by the targets and obtaining licence plates associated to those vehicles.”

If one of Dhak’s group saw the “targets” they were under orders to follow them and report the sighting.

That, said Ruse, was exactly how the events of Aug. 14, 2011 got underway.

Bacon, Amero and Riach traveling with Lyndsey Black and Leah Hadden-Watts to Kelowna Aug. 12, 2011, said Ruse. Court evidence showed they had been stalked before the shooting where Bacon died from his gunshot wounds, Hadden Watts was shot in the neck and rendered a paraplegic, Amero was shot in the face, wrist and chest and Black was shot through both upper legs.

Riach escaped injury.

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