Trial in 2009 double murder under way in New Westminster court
At 3:30 a.m. on March 19, 2009, Hi-Knoll Park area resident Gerald Peterson and his wife were awakened by the noise of several gunshots.
With his dog barking, Peterson looked out the window to see a car pull out of the park’s parking lot. Then he and his wife went back to bed.
Two hours later, when Peterson’s two sons arrived at his home to travel to work together, their father sent them to the park to see if something had happened overnight.
At 5:45 a.m. he arrived at the park in his vehicle to see the body of Marc Bontkes, lying face up beside a mini van. His sons had already called 911.
Peterson testified at the double murder trial of Robert David Bradshaw in New Westminster’s B.C. Supreme Court on Wednesday.
Bradshaw is accused of firing the shots that killed Bontkes, 33. He is also charged in the murder of 36-year-old Laura Lynn Lamoureux, five days earlier.
Lead forensic identification investigator Sgt. Jeff Wong testified on Wednesday that he could see that Bontkes had been shot in the face and other parts of his body.
Shell casings were found around the body, as was a baggy, which Wong believes contained drugs.
Bradshaw is accused of planning Bontkes’ murder, along with 33-year-old Roy Michael Thielen, who is already serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for 20 years for both murders.
Crown is expected to show that the same gun was used in both murders. Crown will also claim that Langley resident Michelle Motola, 21, dropped Bradshaw and Thielen off at Hi-Knoll Park and then went to get Bontkes by convincing him to come and help her with a drug deal.
Crown intends to prove that once Bontkes arrived at the park he was shot and killed just after stepping out of the van.
Bradshaw is charged with two counts of first degree murder in connection to the deaths of both Bontkes and Lamoureux.
The trial marks the first time that details about the two murders have been released. There was a ban on any information about the murders until Bradshaw, the final person to be tried, went to trial.
Thielen pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the Bontkes case, as well as in the related killing of Lamoureux.
Motola, meanwhile, was sentenced last spring to six years in a federal prison for her part in Bontkes’ killing. She was initially charged with one count each of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. After working with lawyers, she pleaded guilty to manslaughter in early February.
Motola was not charged in connection with Lamoureux’s murder.
Bontkes founded Designmarc Homes, in Langley. He is the son of prominent Langley developer Robert Bontkes of Benchmark Group of Properties.
Bontkes wasn’t known to police, but his family later said that he had been involved with hard drugs at the time of his murder. He left behind a wife and a young son.