Updated: Murder victim posed ‘high risk’ for UN gang, says prosecutor

Cory Vallee on trial in B.C. Supreme Court for 2009 Langley murder of Kevin LeClair

Cory Vallee is on trial in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver for the 2009 murder of Kevin LeClair. He is also charged in the 2008 killing of Jonathan Barber and the attempted murder of Barber's girlfriend.

The trial of UN gang member Cory Vallee resumed in B.C. Supreme Court in a high-security Vancouver courtroom Monday morning (Feb. 6) with Crown prosecutor David Jardine laying out his case to Justice Janice Dillon.

Jardine said the evidence includes “a substantial amount of electronic material,” including video and wiretaps and three thick volumes of admissions agreed to by the Crown and the defence.

The start of the prosecution case comes after a lengthy voir dire, or trial within a trial, to determine what evidence would be admissible.

Vallee, who sometimes goes by “Frankie,” “Frank,” “Panther” or “Specs,”  was charged with first degree murder in the death of rival gang member Kevin LeClair, a Red Scorpion and associate of the Bacon brothers, who was gunned down in a busy Langley shopping centre parking lot in February, 2009.

“Eight years ago today,” Jardine noted.

He said LeClair (pictured below) became a target when he quit the UN gang and became associated with the Red Scorpion gang and the Bacon brothers.

“He (LeClair) became a higher risk for the UN gang because he knew them and knew what they looked like,” Jardine said.

He said the evidence will show that members of the UN gang were hunting for LeClair when they spotted his truck shortly before 3 p.m. in the afternoon and followed it to a restaurant in the Thunderbird Mall in Walnut Grove.

When LeClair went inside, Vallee and another UN gang member went to get weapons and returned in a van with a 9mm handgun and an AR-15 rifle and waited for LeClair to leave the restaurant.

When LeClair came outside after an hour, Vallee and the gang member got out of the van and started firing at LeClair in the parking lot of the shopping centre at 88 Avenue, east of 200 Street.

LeClair’s truck was “riddled with bullets”, Jardine said.

Witnesses have told the Times as many as 40 shots were heard.

One said she watched from her apartment balcony as a dark grey pickup was sprayed with bullets from what appeared to be an automatic weapon, fired from another vehicle

Another witness was at work when she heard a noise that sounded like fireworks.

She looked up to see a man in a blue minivan firing shots at the pickup, before speeding away, with two other vehicles following.

One person reported seeing guns thrown onto the pavement as the vehicles sped off.

However, none of the witnesses were able to identify the shooters in a photo lineup, Jardine said.

LeClair, an Abbotsford resident, died in hospital two days after he was shot.

Shooting scene. Times File Photo.

Vallee and UN gang leader Conor D’Monte were charged with LeClair’s murder in 2011, while both were on the run from police.

In August, 2014, police in Mexico arrested Vallee in the western state of Jalisco and deported him to Canada.

D’Monte is still at large.

Vallee is also charged with conspiracy to kill the Bacons.

The trial heard details of the 2008 murder of Jonathan Barber of Langley, an innocent victim of the conspiracy.

Jardine said Barber (pictured below) and his girlfriend met Jonathan Bacon at a restaurant and picked up his black Porsche Cayenne Turbo to install a stereo.

Members of the UN gang, who were “on the hunt” for the Bacon brothers, happened to use the washroom in the same restaurant and saw “a person that they thought was a Bacon brother talking near the Porsche,” Jardine said.

When the Porsche left, they followed and opened fire with two AK-47 rifles.

Barber’s girlfriend, who was following the Porsche in a second vehicle, said the attack took place two minutes after they left the parking lot.

She heard a bang and saw a hole in the window of her vehicle, then realized she’d been hit in the arm.

She saw the attacking vehicle speed past and begin shooting at the Porsche.

Police have described Barber as “a complete innocent, just doing his job,” who had no idea he was working on a vehicle that was linked to gang activity.

Jardine said the rivalry between the UN gang and the Bacons and the Red Scorpions exploded into open war because of the May 8, 2008 murder of a “very popular” UN gang member, Duane Meyer, in Mission, which “brought the conflict between the two groups to a head.”

After spending some time on a review of forensic evidence, the Crown expected to call the first witnesses on Wednesday.

Jardine said they will be “persons present” at the scene of the LeClair shooting.

The identity of four of the witnesses at the Vallee trial is protected under a court-ordered ban against publishing their names.

– with files from Monique Tamminga

 

 

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

Just Posted

There is a case of COVID-19 at Baillie House, located on the grounds of Ridge Meadows Hospital. (Google)
COVID-19 case at Baillie House in Maple Ridge

Seniors facility at Ridge Meadows Hospital one of five with new cases in region

Curtis Sagmoen
Public warning issued to North Okanagan sex trade workers

RCMP warns workers to stay away from Salmon River Road area

The Ridge Meadows Flames were able to put their jerseys on and face opposition for the first time since COVID hit. (Facebook)
Flames wrangle with whalers in first exhibition game of 20/21 season

Maple Ridge Junior B squad fell to the White Rock team 5-3 on Sunday

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Another school in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows has COVID-19 exposure

Three school exposure events announced in last two days

Maple Ridge Bears posted “big bear hugs” to everyone who has worked toward better co-existence this year. (Facebook)
Ten fewer bears have been shot in Maple Ridge

Conservation group celebrating success this year

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelter at Kitimat competes against producers in the Middle East and Russia that have no carbon tax. (Rio Tinto)
B.C. carbon tax highest in Canada, export industries unprotected

B.C. NDP, B.C. Liberals say they’re looking at exemptions

In this file photo, snow is seen falling along the Coquihalla Highway. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Weather statement issued for Coquihalla, Hwy 3, as arctic front approaches

The early season snowfall expected to hit Fraser Valley, Friday, Oct. 23

(Pixabay)
Vancouver teacher suspended after swearing, touching students and complimenting underwear

McCabe touched students, including rubbing their backs and necks, touching their hair and hugging them

Most Read