By Keith Fraser, The Province
A man who was convicted in the deadly shooting of a Surrey man during a home invasion has been sentenced to 14 years in prison.
In May 2015, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Bruce Butler found Russell Bidesi, 26, guilty of the February 2012 manslaughter of Kacey Rogers, 31. The accused had initially been charged with second-degree murder.
Rogers and his girlfriend, who cannot be identified due to a publication ban, were getting ready for bed in their home on Grosvenor Road when four shotgun blasts were fired through their front door.
After picking up a baseball bat, Rogers approached the front of the home and as he looked out a kitchen window, he was killed by another shotgun blast fired at close range.
Three men dressed in black, one of whom was Bidesi, burst into the residence and confronted the girlfriend, demanding to know where their money was kept. After taking a small amount of money, they fled the scene. Police and first responders arrived but were unable to revive Rogers.
In convicting Bidesi, the judge found that he was the leader of the group and had recruited his two associates, Joshua Martinez and Fabian Lyde, to help him.
The judge, who called it a “senseless shooting,” said that Bidesi had carried out the home invasion with considerable planning and deliberation and was motivated by profit.
Martinez and Lyde earlier pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Martinez got seven years, while Lyde received a six-year prison term.
The two co-accused received subpoenas to testify at Bidesi’s trial, but after refusing to take the stand were found guilty of contempt of court.
The judge said he was unable to determine who fired the fatal shot but concluded that Bidesi, who is awaiting trial in another fatal shooting, may have been the shooter.
The aggravating factors included that the victim had been shot to death in his own home and that the killing was part of an escalating pattern of violence for Bidesi, said the judge.
Bidesi apologized to the Rogers family and said he had taken responsibility for the shooting, but the judge said he had difficulty reconciling his expressions of remorse with his problems in custody, which include a number of assaults on other inmates.
The accused’s prior offences include a conviction for attempting to unlawfully commit bodily harm after shooting another man in the face in Richmond in November 2011. He had initially been charged with attempted murder.
He has also been charged with the second-degree murder of Bradley McPherson, 28, who was shot to death at a Christmas Eve house party in 2011. That trial is expected to get underway in September in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.
The judge gave Bidesi 14 years, but reduced it to eight years, 10-1/2 months after giving him credit for pre-sentence custody. Butler declined to order that Bidesi serve half of his sentence before being eligible to apply for parole.
Bidesi’s sentence will run consecutive to a 30-month sentence he received in connection with the Richmond shooting and a six-month jail term for assaulting an inmate.
In a victim impact statement that was presented earlier to the court, Rogers’ mother said she had been “shattered to pieces” by the slaying of her son.
“A mama gets a life sentence too difficult to handle when tragedies like this happen,” said the statement. “I want the killings to stop. I pray to please not have any more mamas suffer this agony.”