Maple Ridge man's murder charge dropped

RCMP arrest Hershan
RCMP arrest Hershan 'Shawn' Bains in 2009. He was charged with second degree murder but Crown entered a stay of proceedings last week.
— image credit: RCMP photo

A Maple Ridge man, who police say has ties to organized crime, will not face a murder trial for a shooting in 2009.

A second-degree murder charge against Hershan ‘Shawn’ Singh Bains was stayed in New Westminster Supreme Court last week, bringing court proceedings to an end, three years after Steve Nagra was killed.

On May 28, 2009, Nagra drove himself to Ridge Meadows hospital in a black SUV peppered with bullet holes while suffering from a gunshot wound.

The shooting took place in the residential neighbourhood of 11400-block of Maple Crescent in Maple Ridge.

The 29-year-old collapsed in the emergency and was stabilized by doctors, but died the next day after being transported to Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster.

A month later, Bains was arrested by RCMP, who said the 31-year-old was known to police for “his continued association with organized crime figures.”

Neil MacKenzie, a spokesperson for B.C.’s criminal justice branch, said new evidence has revealed Bains was not the only individual who was potentially responsible for the murder.

A preliminary inquiry was held in 2010 to determine if Crown has enough evidence to justify a trial but MacKenzie said the new information was received after the inquiry concluded.

“On the evidence that is available at this time, it is not possible for Crown to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Bains is the person who shot Mr. Nagra,” said MacKenzie.

In order to obtain a conviction, MacKenzie said Crown would have to prove Bains was the person who shot Nagra or was in someway a party to the offence.

“The Crown is not in a position to prove either of those,” he added.

Before he was murdered, Nagra had a criminal record going back 10 years. He was known around Maple Ridge as a street-level drug dealer.

He had convictions for several violent offences, including pointing a firearm and uttering threats.

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