Suspect guilty in death of pastor’s son in Langley


Just over a year after Taylor Johnson was found dead in a vacant Langley home being used as a marijuana grow operation, a Surrey man has admitted to manslaughter.

Jesse River Jordan Hill appeared in B.C. provincial court in Surrey Wednesday to enter a plea to a charge of manslaughter with a firearm. He was initially charged with second-degree murder, break and enter, intentionally discharging a firearm and disguising his face.

On the evening of Feb. 26, 2013, Langley RCMP were called to a home in the 2000-block 200th Street in South Langley to check on Johnson’s well being. Officers found the 21-year-old dead.

The house was being used as a marijuana grow-op and police believed that whoever killed Johnson was after the crop. The men did not know each other. Johnson was merely a caretaker at the house and was not involved in the grow-op.

Shortly after Hill’s arrest, Integrated Homicide Investigation Team spokeswoman Sgt. Jennifer Pound said, “Taylor was a good kid with no criminal record. He was naive, and he made a bad decision that ultimately cost him his life.”

Johnson was the son of the lead pastor at South Delta Baptist Church. His family described him as gentle, trusting and caring.

A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Hill in September. According to the Criminal Code of Canada, the minimum sentence for manslaughter with a firearm is four years in prison. Hill has been in custody since he was charged in October 2013.

– Jennifer Saltman is a reporter for the Vancouver Province.

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