Al­leged gang­ster ac­quit­ted of five weapons charges

Judge cites lack of ev­i­dence link­ing Chan to gun, buck knife in truck

Calgary Herald - - CITY - KEVIN MAR­TIN KMartin@post­media.com On Twit­ter: @KMart­inCourts

Rul­ing his fugi­tive brother may have been the true cul­prit, a Cal­gary judge on Thurs­day ac­quit­ted al­leged gang leader Nick Chan of five weapons charges.

Jus­tice Scott Brooker said while he didn’t be­lieve ev­ery­thing Chan said in his tes­ti­mony, the ac­cused’s claim of in­no­cence was enough to raise a doubt as to whether he knew there was a gun un­der his seat when he was stopped by po­lice.

“I am left with a rea­son­able doubt as to the ac­cused’s guilt,” Brooker said. “Mr. Chan, I find you not guilty.” Crown prose­cu­tor Bob Sig­urd­son had ar­gued the log­i­cal in­fer­ence was Chan was aware the hand­gun and a buck knife hid­den un­der the seat of his bor­rowed truck were there.

Sig­urd­son said Chan reg­u­larly used the ve­hi­cle, hav­ing been stopped two other times by po­lice while at the wheel, which was owned by a lim­ited com­pany.

The prose­cu­tor also ar­gued Chan’s gang-re­lated life­style — which in­cluded his brother, Tim, be­ing shot and the ac­cused be­ing present when an­other as­so­ci­ate was shot at — gave him mo­tive to be armed.

But Brooker agreed with de­fence lawyer Michael Bates that Chan’s con­duct at a March 3, 2010, traf­fic stop sug­gested he wasn’t aware of the gun’s pres­ence.

Chan was unco-op­er­a­tive when pulled over by po­lice, re­fus­ing to exit the truck and hav­ing to be pulled from the ve­hi­cle.

“If the ac­cused knew there was a gun in the ve­hi­cle one would as­sume he’d co-op­er­ate, get out of the ve­hi­cle and get away from it,” Brooker said.

The judge also said there was a lack of ev­i­dence link­ing Chan to the gun and other items in the truck.

“There’s no foren­sics link­ing the ac­cused to the gun, the buck knife or any of the cloth­ing found in the ve­hi­cle,” he said.

Brooker said Chan’s “gang life­style” could have been a mo­tive for the gun be­ing there, but there were other ex­pla­na­tions for its pres­ence.

“That is a pos­si­ble in­fer­ence to draw, but that is not the only pos­si­ble in­fer­ence,” he said.

“It could’ve been Tim Chan … or some­body else that placed the gun un­der the seat.”

Chan tes­ti­fied he pe­ri­od­i­cally got per­mis­sion from his brother to drive the truck and when he an­grily com­plained about be­ing charged, Tim Chan apol­o­gized.

Tim Chan is wanted for mur­der in con­nec­tion with the triple slay­ing at Bolsa restau­rant on Jan. 1, 2009, but has been a fugi­tive from jus­tice since the charge was laid in July 2013.

Nick Chan was ac­quit­ted of first­de­gree mur­der in March 2016 in con­nec­tion with the Bolsa mas­sacre.

He’s sched­uled to face trial next April in con­nec­tion with an­other mur­der, the shoot­ing death of non­gang mem­ber Kevin Anaya on Aug. 9, 2008.

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