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Kelowna  

Deal struck in Bacon trial

UPDATE: 10:50 a.m.

The single murder charge that has now been laid in the midday killing of Jonathan Bacon is murder in the second degree, a charge reserved for murders that are not planned or deliberate.

Jason McBride, Michael Jones and Jujhar Khun-Khun were all originally facing first-degree murder charges for their part in the gangland slaying.

Throughout the course of the trial, the court heard how associates of Sukh Dhak had been hunting for Bacon, Larry Amero and James Riach throughout the Lower Mainland for months, following the murder of Dhak's brother Gurmit. 

The Crown told the court the three accused had arrived in Kelowna in the early hours of Aug. 14, 2011, after learning Bacon, Amero and Riach were in town, to carry out the killing.

According to the Crown, Jones and Khun-Khun's conspiracy to commit murder charges, the only charges they now face, stem from actions occurring between June 1 and Aug. 14, 2011.

The conspiracy charge states the two men conspired with Jason McBride and Suhk Dhak, but McBride has not been charged with conspiracy. Dhak, meanwhile, was gunned down in 2012. 

The Crown says it won't elaborate on what led to the change in charges, or why the first-degree murder charge has been changed to second degree.

A first-degree murder charge carries an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years, while second-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence with no parole for 10 years.

The three accused are expected to enter guilty pleas on the new charges on May 1, followed by sentencing. 


UPDATE: 10:10 a.m.

After several years of investigation, and almost a year of delay-ridden trial, the three men accused of murdering Jonathan Bacon on a sunny Sunday afternoon outside Kelowna's Delta Grand Hotel have struck a deal with the Crown. 

On Friday morning, Crown prosecutor David Ruse told the court they had filed new charges against the accused, and would be dropping the original charges. 

"It is the intention of the Crown and the defence to resolve this matter on the basis of that new indictment," Ruse said. 

On May 1, Jason McBride is expected to plead guilty to murder and attempted murder, while Michael Jones and Jujhar Khun-Khun are expected to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit murder. 

The Crown and defence have agreed on a joint sentencing submission, although it's unclear what that will be.

McBride, Jones and Khun-Khun were originally charged in 2013, a year and a half after the shooting took place. They've remained in custody ever since, facing charges of murder, four counts of attempted murder and several firearms offences. 

During the trial, the court heard the Kelowna shooting was in response to the October 2010 murder of Gurmit Dhak in Burnaby. The Crown said Gurmit's brother, Sukh Dhak, had ordered the killing of Bacon as retaliation.

Hells Angel Larry Amero and Independent Soldier James Riach, along with two other women, were also in the SUV with Bacon when it was shot at. Amero was seriously injured and one of the women was hit and paralyzed, while Riach escaped unharmed.

The three accused are expected to plead guilty on May 1, which will be followed by sentencing submissions. 


ORIGINAL: 9:30 a.m.

In a shocking turn of events, the trial of three men accused of murdering Jonathan Bacon outside Kelowna's Delta Grand Hotel almost seven years ago is coming to a close. 

On Friday morning, Crown prosecutor David Ruse told Justice Allan Betton they had reached an agreement with the accused on new charges. 

This includes conspiracy to commit murder by Jujhar Khun-Khun and Michael Jones, along with murder and attempted murder charges for Jason McBride. 

The new charges are in stark contrast to the murder charges the three originally faced, along with four attempted murder charges and additional weapons charges. 

In exchange for the Crown dropping the original charges, the accused are expected to plead guilty to the new charges on May 1, which will be followed by sentencing. 

The pleas will come almost a full year after the trial began, which saw several delays throughout. The latest delay began in the fall of 2017. 

Additional details to follow. 



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