New trial granted due to hitman’s testimony
A new trial has been granted in the murders of two people. (FOTOLIA)
Robert David Nicholas Bradshaw was granted a new trial on first-degree murder charges by the B.C. Court of Appeal this week due to the inclusion of re-enactment evidence given by a contract killer.
Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett granted the retrial on the grounds that a videotaped re-enactment by Roy Thielen – who had emerged originally as a suspect and the target of a police sting – should not have been permitted as evidence.
“This is an error of sufficient magnitude that a new trial is required,” she wrote in her ruling.
The murders of Laura Lamoureux in Langley and Marc Bontkes in Surrey took place five days apart in 2009.
Thielen made a range of statements to undercover officers in a “Mr. Big” investigation in May 2010 during a road trip between Edmonton and Calgary, where he told the cop a lengthy account of his involvement in the two murders – saying he had been hired to kill both victims by a local drug dealer and that he was the sole shooter.
Thielen said he shot Lamoureux in the head and chest as she walked down the street, and he was angry at Bontkes, who he claimed had been involved with kidnapping and torturing his “sister.”
In July 21, 2010, Thielen met with Mr. Big – a fictitious crime boss – and mentioned Paulie was involved in the murders, which is a nickname for Bradshaw, the ruling states.
On July 30, 2014, Thielen was charged with the two counts of first-degree murder, but sought an agreement with police that if he gave up information to police he would receive a guarantee “of going to a ‘far away’ jail and a name change to protect himself,” but no deal was made at that time, according to the ruling.
Thielen plead guilty to two counts of second-degree murder, but at Bradshaw’s trial he refused to be sworn to give testimony, but the re-enactment was allowed where Thielen described Bradshaw as the shooter in the second murder and participating in the first.
Justice Bennett set the guilty verdict aside and ordered a trial on both counts.