In the 20 or so days of Robert Bradshaw’s Supreme Court trial for the first degree murders of Marc Bontkes and Laura Lamoureux, the jury has heard about what the drug culture in Langley has done to many lives, said the Crown in their closing arguments.
“It’s a world full of lies, violence, criminality,” said Crown counsel Chris McPherson on Monday morning.
“It’s filled with everything we can’t imagine or fathom. But it’s in this world that two lives were lost and the evidence has shown that Roy Thielen killed Laura Lamoureux and Bradshaw killed Marc Bontkes.
Crown hasn’t proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Bradshaw had anything to do with the murders, said Bradshaw’s lawyer Paul McMurray in his closing arguments.
McMurray told a Supreme Court jury on that Crown is relying heavily on the “unreliable” evidence of convicted murderer Roy Thielen, who has already pleaded guilty to both murders.
“Thielen’s objective is to minimize his consequences and to extricate [close friend] Michelle Motola as much as he can by escalating Bradshaw’s role,” McMurray told the jury in his closing arguments on Monday. Motola, 21, has already pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the killing of Bontkes and is serving six years.
“Mr. Thielen was and is a liar. His statements have been contradicted by others . . .” Thielen told an undercover police officer posing as a crime boss that he killed both himself, including torturing Bontkes. But after his arrest he implicated Bradshaw as the driver in Lamoureux’s murder and the shooter in Bontkes’ death.
“The only evidence that looks bad for Bradshaw is the taped conversations because it sounds like he admits to the killings,” said McMurray. Police videotaped a conversation Thielen and Bradshaw had in a hotel room after homicide investigators approached Bradshaw about the murders in July 2010.
His lawyer suggested to the jury that Bradshaw feared for his safety if he didn’t go along and that he agreed to implicate himself to help out Motola, whom he still had feelings for.
Bradshaw took the stand in New Westminster on Thursday and told a Supreme Court jury that he had nothing to do with the murders.
Bontkes and Lamoureux were both shot dead within five days of each other in March, 2009.
In the trial, it was learned that both murder victims had robbed the drug lines Bradshaw and Thielen worked for.
There is also evidence that Motola accused Bontkes and Lamoureux of kidnapping and torturing her before the murders. That accusation has not been proven.
Bradshaw, an admitted drug dealer who worked for a dial-a-dope line at the time, was taped by police in an undercover operation talking about the murders and offering details about his role in the two killings during a conversation with Thielen in a hotel room and again at a park bench in July 2010.
Thielen has already pleaded guilty to the murders and is serving a life sentence. He refused to testify at Bradshaw’s trial and a show cause hearing for contempt of court was expected to take place. At the time of the killings, Motola was dating and living with Bradshaw. They were together around six weeks.
Police had set up Thielen in an undercover sting, during which they made him believe he was joining an organized gang. Police taped a conversation between Thielen and Bradshaw going over what roles the two had played in the murders and whether they had covered their tracks well enough to make sure police couldn’t implicate them.
Bradshaw speaks of various details, reassuring Thielen that during Bontkes’ murder (which took place in Hi Knoll Park) they both wore gloves.
However, Lamoureux’ murder happened in a residential neighbourhood, so someone may have witnessed it, Bradshaw tells Thielen.
“There were houses around us,” Bradshaw can be heard in the video surveillance.
In a complicated defence, Bradshaw claims that Thielen asked him to go along with “a story” that implicated him in the murders. The story Thielen gave him about how both murders happened was to be relayed to the gang crime boss to give Thielen credits with the gang and to show Thielen had tied up all loose ends. The story was relayed to Bradshaw in an eight minute conversation in a hotel bathroom, Bradshaw claims.
“If you didn’t have any involvement why agree to implicate yourself?” asked McMurray.
“I was more concerned of the repercussions if I didn’t. It was less harmful to just agree,” said Bradshaw. While on the stand, Bradshaw said he didn’t do drugs himself, just marijuana. As a drug dealer for two years in Langley, he sold a lot but never took part, saying he did around 200 to 300 deals a day.
He said he never stashed the gun used to murder both victims.
He also said he knew nothing about Bontkes, nor had he ever met him. He said he barely had a relationship with Thielen.
“Do you admit to killing Marc Bontkes?” McMurray asked Bradshaw.
“No. I was giving him (Thielen) an out to exclude Michelle and include myself. It was part of the story,” he said.
In cross examining Bradshaw, the Crown questioned why Bradshaw would allow himself to take the fall for two murders he didn’t commit.
“Thielen is someone you said you saw about once a month selling dope to or giving a ride to and at some point he said, ‘oh by the way I implicated you in two murders?” asked Crown Chris McPherson.
“He wanted me as backup,” Bradshaw responded.
Crown asked the jury to reject Bradshaw’s evidence because he is making it up to make it fit with the evidence the jury has already been presented. McPherson told the jury that Bradshaw’s evidence that he was just going along with a story of murders that Thielen told him makes no sense at all.
“As for the defence arguing that Thielen was just trying to minimize his role, that also doesn’t make sense.
“By implicating Bradshaw it makes him a rat in jail and he knows he is already serving a life sentence. Why would he do that to himself?”
“This man (Bradshaw) admitted to being involved in the killing of Lamoureux and Bontkes in a hotel room and again at a park bench,” he said of the police taped conversations the two had that was brought into evidence in the trial.
Bradshaw’s claims that he was just going along with a story he was told by Thielen to implicate himself in the murders “makes no sense.”
McPherson tells the jury to reject Bradshaw’s evidence because “he’s making it up to make it fit with the evidence you have before you.”
“Bradshaw confesses to details of the murder. Thielen gets details from a man who was there, from someone who wasn’t a heavy drug user and remembered “as clear as f****** day.”
He went on to say Bradshaw had intimate details of the murders, and refreshed Thielen’s memory of those details when Thielen couldn’t remember.”
Judge Bryan Greyell will instruct the jury Tuesday morning (today) and then they will deliberate and come back with a verdict.