A sentencing hearing for former Red Scorpions gang leader Jamie Bacon began in B.C. Supreme Court on Friday for his role in the Surrey Six murders.
Bacon heard victim impact statements from family members of those killed, including from Eileen Mohan, whose 22-year-old son, Christopher, was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“Who do you think you are to decide who lives and dies?” she told Bacon.
“I feel cheated with life,” Mohan told the court. “I long to have him back… to share a meal with him, to dance with him, to share our love. But everything is impossible, unattainable. How I wish this crime did not touch our son.”
Mohan described re-entering her house for the first time after the Oct. 19, 2007 slayings and looking at Christopher’s possessions in his room.
“It felt empty,” she said. “I realized at that moment that when you die, the only thing that goes with you is your dignity and how well you conducted yourself on Earth.”
She said her identity has been reduced to that of a victim.
“Because of Jamie Bacon’s actions, my beautiful son is known as a victim, and I am known as a victim’s mother,” she said.
“Every time I hear the word victim, my heart aches.”
The two had moved to Balmoral Tower on East Whalley Ring Road only weeks before the murders, as they were preparing to buy a new home.
On the day of the murder, she went to work and asked Christopher to be home to let in fireplace repairman Ed Schellenberg, who was also later shot dead.
“If I had stayed home that day, this trial would have been known as the Surrey Seven murders,” Mohan said.
“I wish I had a longer breakfast with Christopher. A longer conversation before I left home. I wish I had not gone to work, I wish I had asked him to walk with me to the lobby as he sometimes did.”
She recalled her final conversation with her son.
“It feels now, that God gave me a last chance to say to my son ‘I love you,'” and hear him say, ‘I love you too, I’ll see you tonight.’ That was not to be.
“There were questions asked — where was I that day? Why did I leave him home when he needed me most? That guilt, I carry with me every day. How was I to know?”
Bacon pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy to commit the murder of Corey Lal, the intended target of the killings that took place at the Balmoral Tower building in Surrey on Oct. 19, 2007.
“I wish I could vomit the pain out,” Lal’s sister Jourdane read from her victim impact statement.
“We’ve been sentenced to a life of sadness.”
Bacon also pleaded guilty to counselling murder in the 2008 shooting of Dennis Karbovanec, who survived the attack.
Crown and defence teams are jointly seeking an 18-year sentence for conspiracy to commit murder, served concurrently with a 10-year sentence for counselling to commit murder.
At the time of Bacon’s pleas, defence lawyer Kevin Westell said they expect the former Red Scorpions leader to serve just five or six more years with credit for time served.
Crown agreed to stay a first-degree murder charge in connection with the Surrey Six case as part of the plea deal.
In 2014, Red Scorpions gang members Cody Haevischer and Matthew Johnston were each convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit murder and six counts of first-degree murder following a year-long trial.
Bacon’s trial had been proceeding separately, but in 2017, the charges against him in the slayings were stayed and the judge’s reasons for doing so were sealed from public view.
In May, the B.C. Court of Appeal granted the Crown’s request to reinstate the charges and move the case back to trial.
Bacon, now 35, waived his right to address the court. Justice Kathleen Ker is expected to hand down a sentence on Sept. 11.
— With files from Srushti Gangdev, Rumina Daya, Amy Judd, and The Canadian Press