Langley’s Brad McPherson was murdered on Christmas Eve day 2011 in retaliation for trying to intervene when a woman was being harassed.
On Friday, Russell Atma Bidesi was found guilty in the fatal shooting of the 28-year-old.
“McPherson was shot and killed while at an after-hours party inside a residence” in Newton, said IHIT spokesperson Cpl. Frank Jang.
Bidesi was identified as a suspect during the course of the investigation. His trial began in September 2017 and the verdict came down Feb. 16, 2018.
“No family should have to wait this long,” said Susan Simning, Brad’s mother, adding “Your life is on hold.”
She’s been in court throughout the trial and said the courts need to impose tougher sentences and that if the courts had been tougher on Bidesi, who has a long history within the legal system, maybe her son and the other person he was convicted of killing might be alive.
Bidesi was convicted of manslaughter in the death of 31-year-old Kacey Rogers in 2012 during a botched home invasion. Bidesi was charged with second-degree murder but it was dropped down to manslaughter.
Roger’s aunt was in court during the trial for McPherson’s death. On Friday, Roger’s mother attended.
“We hugged and cried,” Simning said.
The sentencing is March 29.
“He should never see the light of day,” she said. “We’re pretty confident [the judge] will throw the book at him.”
Though angered by the many court delays, Simning is pleased that the court rendered a verdict on second-degree murder and did not downgrade the charge.
“IHIT believes in justice for those who have died unfairly. What motivates our investigators are the family members left behind with their pain of loss. If we can do our job and a person is held accountable for murder, we hope that provides some small measure of peace to the family,” Jang said.
JUSTICE FOR BRADLEY MCPHERSON: On Christmas Eve 2011, 27y/o Bradley McPherson was killed while at an after-hours party. Today, Russell Atma Bidesi was found guilty of 2nd degree murder in B.C. Supreme Court for Mr. McPherson's death. pic.twitter.com/aSTFSTPtba
— IHIT (@HomicideTeam) February 16, 2018
McPherson’s death prompted his mother to start a scholarship that has benefited students at Clayton Heights Secondary and North Delta Senior Secondary. More recently, Langley Secondary students have been helped. Simning said it moves around to area schools to aid more youth.
“Brad was diagnosed when he was three with ADHD,” she explained. “It [learning] was always a challenge so when he graduated, I was over the moon.”
Simning said it was her son’s nature to help others. After his murder, she went on to organize the scholarship effort, with funds coming from a burnout car show, because her son was a big automobile buff.
“It keeps Brad’s memory alive,” she said.
The Burnouts in the Sky fundraiser is scheduled for Aug. 18 of this year at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds.
After living in Port Kells for many years, Simning was moving to Langley.
“He was just moving with me when it happened,” she said of his murder.
Brad was working at the Langley Best Buy and in security, including the Merritt Mountain Music Festival.
Simning is still haunted by the knock on her door that Christmas Eve day of 2011 when she was told of his death.