After weeks of deliberation and testimonies, former Devils Army president Ricky Alexander has been found guilty of first-degree murder for killing a Saanich MMA fighter in Campbell River in 2016.
Court registry records show that Alexander was found guilty following a month-long trial in front of a 12-person jury. Alexander’s sentencing is scheduled for 2 p.m. today and he’ll face a life sentence with no parole for at least 25 years.
The decision means the jury agreed with Crown prosecutors’ argument that Alexander shot 30-year-old John Dillon Brown in the back of the head in order to protect the Hells Angels motorcycle gang from a potentially embarrassing lawsuit.
During the trial court heard that Brown’s death stemmed from a bar fight at the Voodoo Lounge in Campbell River involving him, two Hells Angels members and a Devils Army member in November 2015.
Nicole Herman, Brown’s girlfriend who was pregnant at the time of his death, said the fight left Brown with severe injuries to his face. She also said he claimed security personnel at the establishment looked on, failing to intervene for several minutes.
In the aftermath of the incident, Brown filed a lawsuit against the Voodoo Lounge, seeking compensation for the injuries he sustained. Eager to settle the matter outside of court, Alexander, the club’s president, approached Brown with a proposal: he offered Brown a payout of $11,000 if he agreed to drop the lawsuit, explaining that he “didn’t want his guys going down for it.”
On the night of Brown’s murder, March 11, 2016, he believed he was meeting with Alexander at the Devils Army clubhouse to receive the proposed settlement. Instead, he was brutally shot in the back of the head and his body was later found in the trunk of his own car, about 75 kilometres north of Campbell River near Sayward on March 12.
Crown throughout the trial portrayed the Devils Army as a “Ricktatorship,” in which Alexander held ultimate authority and maintained close ties to the Hells Angels, specifically the Haney Chapter in Maple Ridge.
Key witness “X,” a former full-patch Devils Army member, testified that he found Brown’s body in the clubhouse after he was shot, smelled gunpowder, and saw Alexander entering with a towel to clean up the blood. The defense attempted to discredit this testimony, alleging that “X” was the actual killer, but the jury sided with the prosecution.
Crown posited that Alexander’s motive for murder was rooted in his loyalty to the Hells Angels and a determination to protect their image.
A sentence is expected to be handed down at 2 p.m.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
-With files from CHEK’s Kori Sidaway