The mother of a murdered 20-year-old man made the 12-hour drive from Rycroft, Alta. this week to attend the court date of the three men accused of killing her son. And she says she'll be coming to every one over the coming months, until she sees justice for her son.
The body of Michael Bonin was discovered on a forest service road off of the Coquihalla Highway near Hope on April 20, 2017. Almost nine months later, 27-year-old Jared Jorgenson, 26-year-old Ryan Watt and 20-year-old Joshua Fleurant were arrested and charged in the murder.
Annette Bonin and her fiance Jason Cunningham attended the three men's court date Friday morning. Watt and Jorgenson did not attend the hearing, as they were represented by their lawyers, but Fleurant appeared by video from the Okanagan Correctional Facility.
Following the hearing, Annette said Fleurant and Bonin had been friends since they were 13 years old.
Annette says her son was a “very smart boy” who was “very helpful and hardworking.” She says despite living in Alberta, she maintained daily contact with Michael.
“Michael and his friends came for Christmas, he was there for Easter time,” she said. “You don't think people go out and kill people though. You say goodbye to your son on a trip and you expect to have him home, here for our wedding.”
During Friday's hearing, Crown prosecutor Colin Forsyth told the court he had applied to the B.C. attorney general to proceed by direct indictment, which would mean skipping the usual preliminary inquiry where a judge determines if the Crown has a strong enough case to proceed to Supreme Court.
It's rare for the Crown to proceed by direct indictment.
Watt's defence counsel Jake Chadi opposes the direct indictment, as he says he would like the opportunity to cross examine the Crown's witnesses before the trial. The decision ultimately rests with the B.C. attorney general.
The case has been put over until Sept. 5, when they will see if the direct indictment has been approved by the attorney general. Annette Bonin says she'll make the trip from Alberta once again in September.
Jorgenson was granted bail in late June, while Watt and Fleurant remain incarcerated at Okanagan Correctional Centre.