Kim Bolan/Special to the Langley Advance
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Janice Dillon has ruled that conversations Cory Vallee had with undercover officers in August 2014 are inadmissible at the trial.
Vallee is on trial for the 2009 murder of Kevin LeClair in Walnut Grove.
Both officers, whose identities are shielded by a publication ban, met Vallee at Vancouver airport after he was escorted back from Mexico, where he had been hiding for years.
They purported to be fellow criminals as they were transported together to the Richmond RCMP detachment. One of the cops was then placed in a cell with Vallee, where they chatted on and off over several hours.
On the cell video, Vallee claimed to be “B.C.’s most wanted” and decried life on the run. He also said he was innocent of the charges.
Dillon said the officers violated Vallee’s Charter rights by raising topics specifically designed to get him to make incriminating statements.
“All of the circumstances, including the simulation exercise, the use of subtle interrogation techniques and the subversion of the vulnerability of the accused, were used to manipulate Mr. Vallee into a mental state where he would talk,” she said. “The cellmate statements obtained from Mr. Vallee were obtained in breach of his Section 7 Charter right to silence. Admission of the statements would bring the administration of justice into disrepute and the statements are not admissible.”
She also said Vallee’s statements are not critical evidence in the Crown’s case.
“It is concluded that the truth-seeking goal of the criminal trial will not be too adversely affected if this evidence is not admissible,” Dillon said.
Also in court regarding the Vallee trial, trucker Rob Johnson thought he’d driven up to a Burnaby movie set when he saw a man with a gun firing at a black sports car. Johnson recalled the May 2008 scene Monday at the murder trial of accused United Nations gang killer Cory Vallee.
He told Dillon that he was headed north on the Kensington overpass when he saw the hoodied man run up to the car, which was at a stop sign waiting to turn onto Kensington from the highway off-ramp.
“He comes up to the back of that car – the back window – and starts shooting,” Johnson testified, pointing his hands as if he was holding a gun. “First I thought they were shooting a movie. And then I thought, I shouldn’t be here.”
He ducked down as his tractor-trailer got closer to where the car was. He was worried he might get hit by a stray bullet or that he might crash into the sports car.
“The car is trying to take off and I am right there now. And I am thinking he better not pull right out in front of me, I’ll just nail him. I’m in a 53-foot tractor trailer,” recalled Johnson, a truck driver for 39 years.
He pulled over a safe distance away, inspecting his vehicle and radioed the dispatcher, who called police. The Mounties arrived minutes later. Johnson said he pointed them to the shell casings on the road.
While he described the shooter’s clothing and athletic build, he told prosecutor Alex Burton that he never really saw the man’s face.
Dillon has already heard that UN gangsters were out hunting the Bacon Brothers and their Red Scorpion associates in retaliation for the May 8, 2008, murder of UN gangster Duane Meyers in Abbotsford.
Vallee is charged with conspiracy to kill the Bacons over several months in 2008 and 2009, as well as the first-degree murder of Bacon pal Kevin LeClair on Feb. 6, 2009.
There were three shootings linked to the UN within 24 hours of Meyer’s murder, including the one that Johnson witnessed on Kensington.
Crown prosecutor David Jardine said in his opening that Red Scorpion founder Michael Le was inside his black Maserati when he was chased off the highway at Kensington and shot at. And he said an intercepted conversation between UN founder Clay Roueche and others said an associate named “Panther” was out hunting Red Scorpions that night.
The Crown alleges “Panther” is one of Vallee’s nicknames.
– Kim Bolan is a reporter with the Vancouver Sun.
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