The two men behind bars for the killing of Langley’s Kyle Barber have lost their appeals.
On April 9, Chief Justice Finch, Justice Ryan and Justice Neilson dismissed appeals made by killer Albert Jackman and Gregory Barrett in Vancouver Supreme Court. The three judges affirmed both convictions.
Jackman wanted his conviction of first degree murder reduced to manslaughter or given a new trial and Barrett wanted his sentence of manslaughter changed to a full acquittal or a new trial ordered.
In June 2011, Jackman, 26, was convicted of first degree murder while Barrett, 32, was found guilty of manslaughter for being an accessory.
In finding the two men guilty as charged, Justice Sunni Stromberg-Stein rejected defence claims that Barrett and Jackman did not mean to kill anyone when they paid Barber and his girlfriend a late night visit, concerning a robbery (grow rip) at a barn next door that Barrett leased.
The pair said they were greeted politely at first, but then Barber suddenly ran to a bedroom and grabbed a pistol-grip shotgun from under his bed.They say the injuries that cost Barber his life were inflicted because Jackman was defending himself.
Barber’s girlfriend testified that the pair forced their way in and Jackman repeatedly assaulted Barber while Barrett held her in a bear hug grip.
She said Jackman beat Barber about the face with scissors before the final, fatal struggle, when her boyfriend was repeatedly stabbed and died of massive blood loss.
The judge said she did not believe either man, and while the girlfriend’s testimony was “inconsistent” in some areas, she was a “credible and reliable witness” unlike the two attackers, whose testimony the judge derided as “bordering on far-fetched and ridiculous.”
In July 2011, Jackman pleaded guilty for the 2009 sledgehammer attack that permanently disabled a Langley man.
Jackman pleaded guilty on one count of aggravated assault and one count of unlawful confinement in the attack that sent 29-year-old Tyler Willock to hospital with multiple fractures.
Defence counsel Brian Coleman told the hearing at the time that Jackman went after Willock because he was making jokes about the murder of Jackman’s friend, Kevin LeClair, a Surrey Red Scorpions associate gang member who was gunned down in a Langley strip mall in broad daylight in 2009.
Jackman and LeClair were very close, almost like brothers, according to a written statement filed by LeClair’s father.
Jackman, who has a tattoo of LeClair, was enraged to hear that Willock had laughed about the murder, saying it meant he wouldn’t have to pay back $40,000 he’d borrowed from the murdered man, testimony in the case heard.
Jackman tied up Willock in the bedroom of his Langley home, applied duct tape to his eyes and mouth and hit him 20 times with a sledgehammer.
The attack splattered the walls, ceiling and furniture of the bedroom with blood.
Jackman, at that trial, said he will serve his time with his “head held high.”