Richard Alexander, the former president of the Devil’s Army motorcycle club, killed Dillon Brown to terminate a lawsuit that would have made the Hells Angels look bad, the Crown charged Friday in B.C. Supreme Court.
“It’s not clear what his exact motivation for the killing was, but Brown’s death was put in motion when he started his lawsuit,” Crown prosecutor Kimberly Henders Miller told the jury during final submissions.
Alexander is on trial for the first-degree murder of Brown on March 11, 2016.
“Whether the killing was ensuring the lawsuit went away, or that Brown was silenced, or that Brown didn’t end up with $10,000. The only person connected with the settlement and Brown is Alexander.”
Alexander has pleaded not guilty.
Defence lawyer Brent Anderson began his submissions by accusing Witness X, a former full-patch biker now a key Crown protected witness, of snapping and murdering Brown that day. The case for the defence will continue Monday.
The jury has heard that Brown was injured in a fight with members of the Devil’s Army and Hells Angels at a Campbell River nightclub, the Voodoo Lounge, in November 2015. Brown, 30, was a competitive amateur MMA fighter and held his own against the group of bikers.
He decided to sue the nightclub to pay for dental bills and lost work because bouncers didn’t stop the fight or come to his assistance. He asked for, and received, a video of the fight that was captured on the nightclub’s surveillance system. He showed the video to several people and tried to recruit witnesses for his lawsuit.
“If this went to court, it would make the Hells Angels look bad,” said Henders Miller.
The Devil’s Army had close ties with Hells Angels. Alexander left the Devil’s Army briefly to become a Hells Angel but was turned down after a DNA test revealed he had too much African blood, the jury heard.
Alexander began negotiating the lawsuit with Brown on Jan. 30, 2016. He was worried criminal charges against the bikers would arise out of the civil suit, said the Crown. Evidence revealed there were phone calls and text messages between the two men.
Alexander began stringing Brown along, promising him a payout of $10,000 for his injuries, said Henders Miller.
“By March 11, the payout was no longer the plan. The plan was murder,” she said. “The events of that day demonstrate the murder was planned and deliberate.”
Alexander asked Brown to meet him at the Devil’s Army clubhouse in Campbell River. He told Brown when to arrive. The clubhouse was a public-enough place that it wouldn’t arouse Brown’s suspicions, but private enough that Alexander could maintain control, said Henders Miller.
“The basement was a poorly lit area where pulling out a gun unnoticed could be more easily accomplished.”
At the clubhouse, Alexander could easily enlist the help of other bikers. And their culture dictates that you don’t rat.
Alexander had the clubhouse surveillance cameras turned off . He had gloves and he told X ahead of time that he was going to need a hand or help bringing someone to their car. Alexander also said “If he doesn’t come alone, it’s off.” And he told X to close the gate, said Henders Miller.
Brown entered the clubhouse with his court documents, expecting a payout. Alexander was armed with a loaded firearm.
“Within seconds of entering the clubhouse, as Brown moved towards the far wall, Alexander fired the weapon from behind him into the back of his head,” she said. “The wound was fatal.”
Henders Miller also pointed to Alexander’s actions after Brown was killed.
As Brown lay bleeding on the floor, Alexander began the process of concealing the murder, said the prosecutor. He told X “Don’t touch him. Don’t [expletive] touch him.”
Alexander told X to get gloves and they put Brown’s body into the trunk of Brown’s car. Alexander drove Brown’s car to Sayward and threw away the key. When Alexander returned to the clubhouse later that day, he had his clothing burned, said Henders Miller. He also deleted all of Brown’s text messages.
There’s zero evidence Witness X knew Brown or knew anything about the civil suit. To accuse him of the murder doesn’t make sense, said Henders Miller.
After the defence submissions, the jury is expected to be charged and begin their deliberations Monday.