The man who gunned down a gang member in broad daylight at a Langley IGA was sentenced to life in prison just before Christmas.
Cory Vallee murdered Kevin LeClair on Feb. 6, 2009 in a hail of gunfire in the parking lot of a Walnut Grove shopping plaza, as pedestrians ducked for cover and ran in terror.
Found guilty of first degree murder and a conspiracy to commit murder that targeted several other gangland figures, it will be 25 years before Vallee can apply for parole.
Vallee, 34 at the time of LeClair’s murder, had been hired as an assassin by the UN Gang as part of the violent drug turf war that raged through 2008 and ’09 in the Lower Mainland.
The UN Gang had targeted Jonathan, Jamie, and Jarrod Bacon – the Bacon Brothers – and their allies and associates in the Red Scorpions Gang, including LeClair. The Bacons lived in Abbotsford at the time of the murder plot.
Formerly a bus driver in Whistler and a garbage collector in North Vancouver, Vallee had become involved with the UN Gang by early 2008, stalking and gathering intelligence on the gang’s enemies, according to Justice Janice Dillon’s sentencing ruling.
He was eventually fired from his job with North Vancouver after repeatedly failing to show up for work, as his hunt for rival gangsters consumed more of his time.
On the day of LeClair’s killing, Vallee stalked his victim all day and lay in wait for him outside a restaurant in the shopping plaza.
“Vallee had lots of time to pull back from the plan to kill as he waited in the parking lot of the mall for Leclair to come out of the restaurant. That he did not pull back is a chilling reminder of the capacity for violence in this man,” wrote Dillon in her sentencing ruling.
He ran to the Leclair vehicle, pulled out an AR-15 automatic rifle, and commenced shooting at close range and then continued shooting as the vehicle exited a parking spot and moved towards the stores,” wrote the judge.
“Members of the public hit the ground in the grocery store, ran to the back of a travel agency and insurance company, and ducked down in their vehicles,” Dillon wrote. “One woman ducked and managed to avoid bullets from Vallee’s gun that smashed through the rear and front windows of her car and into a construction barrier and the glass windows of a business in front of her vehicle. She was lucky that she had just dropped off her grandchild who would have been in a child seat in the range of fire.”
After Vallee dropped the gun and fled, he later described the AR-15 was “awesome,” Dillon noted.
The judge sentenced him to a second, concurrent term of life in prison for conspiracy to commit murder.
She also noted other people murdered during the gang war, including Jonathan Barber, an innocent stereo installer who was driving one of the Bacon’s vehicles.
Following the killing of LeClair, Vallee was charged with an unrelated crime in Alberta. He fled the country while released on bail and hid out in Mexico until 2014, when he was extradited to face the murder charge.
Dillon did not hold out much hope that Vallee could become a better person in prison.
“Vallee’s prospects for rehabilitation are not good,” she wrote.
“He has expressed no remorse nor acknowledgment of responsibility for his crimes… Of particular concern is that this offender continues to maintain contact with UN gang members and others involved peripherally in gang activities,” wrote the judge.
She also banned Vallee from communicating with a long list of people, including family members of LeClair or other victims of the gang violence, along with surviving gangsters in both the UN Gang and their enemies.