Killer of B.C. gang leader gets life without parole for 18 years

KELOWNA, B.C. — A man who admitted to killing a British Columbia gang leader in August 2011 has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for 18 years.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Allan Betton sentenced Jason McBride on Wednesday for the second-degree murder of Jonathan Bacon.

McBride will serve a consecutive 15-year sentence for the attempted murder of four others who were inside a vehicle peppered with over three dozen shots.

Sgt. Brenda Winpenny with the Combined Special Enforcement Unit said the six-year investigation into the murder “was one of the largest and most complex in B.C.’s history” with policing costs of over $9 million.

“Today will hopefully bring a form of closure to all those adversely impacted by the violence that took place here,” she said outside court on Wednesday.

Betton also sentenced two other men who admitted to planning the murder to 18 years in prison, minus credit for time they already served while awaiting trial.

Michael Jones and Jujhar Khun-Khun pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to murder Bacon, Hells Angel Larry Amero and James Riach, who the court heard was a member of the Independent Soldiers gang.

Bacon, Amero, Riach and two women were in a Porsche Cayenne in busy tourist area in Kelowna when masked gunmen riddled the vehicle with bullets. One of the women was left paralyzed in the shooting.

Bacon was the oldest of three brothers which police have said had links to the Red Scorpion gang.

Kelowna RCMP Superintendent Brent Mundle said outside court that the 2011 attack was “a brazen daytime shooting that was directly related to organized crime.”

“The shooting which left one person dead and four wounded took place in a public space and put others in the area at risk,” he said. “While thankfully rare, I recognize that these violent and public crimes can have a dramatic impact on the people who live, work in and visit our communities.”

Crown lawyer Dave Ruse told the court on Tuesday that the three accused had actively searched out Bacon, Amero and Riach with the intention of killing them in the summer of 2011.

Ruse said the shooting was in retaliation for the murder of Gurmit Dhak, the leader of the Dhak Group gang, who was killed in October 2010.

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