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'I kept thinking that eventually I'd be killed': ex-Devil's Army member

Former Devil’s Army member describes cleaning up crime scene
Richard (Ricky) Alexander, left, outside the Victoria courthouse on Monday, April 19, 2021. Alexander is on trial for first-degree murder in the death of John Dillon Brown. CHEK NEWS

A former member of the Devil’s Army motorcycle club testified that he became increasingly paranoid after the March 11, 2016 murder of Dillon Brown.

“I kept thinking that eventually I’d be killed,” a person only identified as X said Friday as he testified for the second day against Richard Alexander.

Alexander, former president of the Devil’s Army, is on trial in B.C. Supreme Court for the first-degree murder of Brown.

He has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutor Kimberly Henders Miller asked X about discovering Brown’s body on the floor of the Devil’s Army clubhouse.

“He was lying on the ground on his left-hand side. His head was about two feet from the wall. He was in a semi-fetal position, wearing white socks, white shoes, blue jeans and a Columbia style jacket,” X testified. “His right eye was swollen closed and discoloured.”

“When you saw that, what did you think?” asked Henders Miller.

“I thought he was punched out,” X replied.

X said he leaned down and reached out to touch the man’s shoulder, intending to shake him, wake him up and tell him to get out. But Alexander yelled at him to not touch. As X turned to look at Alexander, he smelled gunpowder.

“When you smelled the gunpowder, what did you think?” asked Henders Miller.

“He [expletive] shot him,” said X.

Brown appeared to be dead.

“But there were sounds,” X said, becoming emotional. “I believe … I believe … I believe it would be known as a death rattle.”

Alexander placed a towel on the ground to stop the blood from pooling.

“It was coming from his head,” X said, through tears.

The courtroom was quiet except for Brown’s partner Nicole Herman weeping in the back row.

X saw a small calibre brass shell casing on the ground. It had been fired. “I picked it up and placed it on the bar. I mentioned it to Rick. He said: ‘I almost forgot about that.’ ”

After Brown’s body was placed in the trunk of his car, the two men talked about what needed to be done at the clubhouse. There was blood on the wall and on some pictures and picture frames, he recalled.

“The only thing I can remember Rick saying is use vinegar because it kills DNA,” X testified.

X was supposed to follow Alexander and pick him up after he dropped off Brown’s car. But when Alexander turned right to go north on the highway, X kept going straight.

“I wanted to remove myself from following Rick, becoming even more involved … with the disposal of Dillon’s vehicle and the evidence. I didn’t think it was a safe decision to follow Rick to pick him back up. … I didn’t know if I’d end up being killed. … Anything could happen. I didn’t want to find out,” he testified.

When X returned to the clubhouse, he dumped a four-litre jug of vinegar on the floor where Brown had been lying and all over the wall. He used a mop, paper towels and a towel to clean the floor, the wall, the front of the bar, the table and chairs. He burned his cleaning tools outside in the firepit along with a manila envelope he found on the bar counter containing Brown’s court documents. Later, he burned Alexander’s jeans, shoes and the leather gloves they’d both been wearing.

The next day, Brown’s brother came to the clubhouse to ask about him. X told him he hadn’t seen him.

“I went upstairs to find Rick and said ‘That guy’s brother is looking for him.’ … I don’t remember his exact words, but it didn’t bother him.”

X stayed with the Devil’s Army until June 20, 2017 out of fear, he testified.

“What was the fear?” asked Henders Miller.

“Death,” he replied.

At the time, X felt better being around the Devil’s Army than away from them because he still lived in Campbell River.

“I was fearful if I was around less, I would go missing or end up with a bullet in my head.”

In July 2017, police made contact with X’s wife, asking her to come in for an interview. They contacted X the next day. Eventually, he began cooperating with the police.

On Oct. 31, 2017, X pleaded guilty to being an accessory to murder after the fact and was sentenced to two years in prison. He served eight-and-a-half months of that sentence, the jury heard.

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