Six men found guilty of manslaughter, kidnapping in Vancouver and Surrey

A man at scene of a double fatal shooting was taken to a Surrey house and held for ransom

Six men have been found guilty of manslaughter in a case involving the fatal shooting of two people in a Vancouver house and the confinement of a kidnapping victim in Surrey in 2016.

Samantha Le and Xuan Van Vy Ba-Cao were shot dead. The case was heard by Justice Arne Silverman in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver.

The trial, Regina v. Harinam Cox, Shamil Ali, Gopal Figueredo, Erian Acosta, Ellwood Bradbury and Matthew Stewart, involved a seven-count indictment where six accused were charged with crimes arising from the same set of circumstances occurring between Sept. 17 and Sept. 19, 2016.

The charges were kidnapping, confinement, two counts of extortion, aggravated assault, and two counts of manslaughter using a firearm.

“On the basis of the evidence, I am satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that with respect to the kidnapping, confinement, the two extortion counts, and the aggravated assault count, each of the accused are parties to those crimes, and all all responsible for each others actions in pursuit of that common goal of kidnapping and extortion,” Silverman decided.

The case involved drug dealing out of a residence Silverman referred to as “Dieppe.” A witness lived there with his girlfriend, a roommate and “sometimes two small children.”

READ ALSO: Ex-Surrey Mountie who has PTSD related to child porn cases wins a court fight

READ ALSO: Judge says Surrey drug dealer was ready for ‘gun warfare’

READ ALSO: Court upholds conditional discharge for ‘violent degrading acts’ in Surrey domestic violence case

As for the manslaughter counts, the judge noted, the evidence didn’t establish which of the six, other than Figuerdo, were present at “Dieppe,” nor did it established if they “had any intention of killing or shooting anyone at all.”

Nevertheless, Silverman found, case law could only lead to the conclusion all six are guilty of manslaughter.

“All that is necessary is that in carrying out their common purpose – kidnapping – they ought to have known that the consequences of their actions would probably result in somebody being seriously hurt,” he explained.

Silverman found, though, that because the original charge of manslaughter included use of a firearm, but it was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt who used it, or knew a firearm was present, he found the six guilty instead of manslaughter simpliciter.

Silverman ordered an indefinite publication ban on evidence that could identify five witnesses, whom he referred to by initials.

The court heard that one of these witnesses found three or four men in the living room, wearing balaclavas. The judge said he was punched in the face, his glasses were broken, his arms were tied behind his back and he was thrown down a stairway, “from where he heard four pops that he thought were gunshots.”

“In fact, both his girlfriend and roommate had been shot twice in the side of the head from close range,” Silverman said. “It is not known who the shooter was and the gun was never located. Consequently, no one is charged with murder. Those believed to be involved, or present at Dieppe, are charged with manslaughter.”

The court heard the witness was then taken to a house in Surrey, where he was confined for about 45 hours while his captors sought ransom money.

During that time, they were unmasked and the witness “subsequently identified them for police” Silverman said. “They are the six accused.”

“While at the Surrey house,” Silverman noted in his reasons for judgment delivered April 4, the witness “was the subject of an ongoing cycle of beatings that, one presumes, were intended to encourage him to arrange for the ransom that they were seeking. They were initially asking for $1 million, later reduced to $500,000.”

DNA evidence and fingerprints established some of the suspects’ presence in the Surrey house, where police found gloves, plastic sheeting, a blow torch, bolt cutters and burner phones.

The witness was rescued by the Vancouver Police Department’s Emergency Response Team, who found him bound in the back seat of a vehicle with Cox, Figueredo and Ali. The other three had escaped but were arrested later.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Herd of deer camp out in Yennadon front yard

Four bucks and two does rested under the shrubs of a Maple Ridge home Friday

Pitt Meadows technology to help grow leafy greens in Okanagan

Cubic Farms sold 16 of its machines to a company in Armstrong, B.C.

Maple Ridge mom wants justice on two-year anniversary of daughter’s death

Megan Kinnee, 19, died July 13, 2018 after motorcycle crash in Abbotsford

Maple Ridge neighbourhood rallies together for Saturday garage sale

Event aimed to bring Albion residents together – but not too close – while the financially strapped

Farmers market returns to downtown Maple Ridge

Next Saturday, July 18 people can shop at the newly reconfigured market in Memorial Peace Park

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m. near King George SkyTrain station

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

BREAKING: Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Man shot dead in east Abbotsford suburbs

Integrated Homicide Investigative Team called to investigate

Most Read