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Man accused in Saanich MMA fighter’s killing told to cover tattoos

63-year-old charged in Saanich man’s death released on several bail conditions
Dillon Brown
Mixed martial arts fighter John Dillon Brown was killed in March 2016.

A man accused of the first-degree murder of a Saanich mixed-martial arts fighter must cover up his Hells Angels and Devils Army tattoos while he’s out on bail.

That’s just one of several conditions imposed by Justice Kate Ker, who released Richard Ernest Alexander on $600,000 bail Thursday pending his trial.

Alexander, president of the Devils Army Motorcycle Club, is accused of killing 30-year-old John Dillon Brown of Saanich in March 2016.

The 63-year-old’s bail conditions forbid him from owning, wearing or displaying clothing or jewelry with Hells Angels and Devils Army logos and insignias. He was required to surrender those items to the RCMP within 72 hours of his release from custody.

Alexander must surrender all his travel documents to the RCMP.

He is not allowed to fly in his son’s Cessna 172 airplane or any other non-commercial airplane during his release.

The decision to release Alexander follows a four-day bail hearing in B.C. Supreme Court in early December.

The reasons can’t be disclosed because of a sweeping publication ban.

Richard Neary, Alexander’s defence lawyer, said his client is “extremely grateful” for the decision.

“The presumption of innocence and pretrial release, where justified, are cornerstones of the Canadian justice system,” Neary said.

“In this matter, the presiding judge carefully considered both sides presented at a long, hard-fought hearing and ultimately determined that bail was appropriate.”

Alexander was charged in October. A two-week preliminary inquiry is set for September.

Brown was found dead inside his car near the west side of the one-way bridge to Sayward, about 75 kilometres northwest of Campbell River, on March 12, 2016. The father of four had last been seen alive the day before, leaving a home in Campbell River in his 2009 Honda Accord.

Alexander was arrested after a joint investigation by B.C.’s anti-gang task force, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. and the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit.

The Special Enforcement Unit said the investigation involved more than 200 police officers.

On Aug. 10, 2017, about 60 officers raided the Devils Army clubhouse on Petersen Road in Campbell River in connection with Brown’s killing.

The Devils Army, active in Campbell River since 2009, is a support club for the Haney Hells Angels chapter, with five full-patch members and two prospective members, according to the Special Enforcement Unit.

There is no information to suggest that Brown, a semi-pro mixed martial arts fighter, was a member or associate of the Devils Army or the Hells Angels, the Special Enforcement Unit said after the August 2017 search.

Alexander is one of the founding members of the Devils Army Motorcycle Club, which the Special Enforcement Unit described as an outlaw group.

Alexander’s other bail conditions stipulate that he must not leave B.C. unless he has the written permission of his bail supervisor and he is not allowed to travel outside Canada.

Alexander is not allowed to communicate with 26 individuals named in the bail document, whose identities are protected by a court order.

While he’s out on bail, Alexander is forbidden from having any contact with “any hangaround, prospect, former member or member of any motorcycle club,” including the Hells Angels and the Devils Army.

He must not publicize any information on social media about the prosecution of the case, or the identities of those he is forbidden to communicate with.

Alexander, who will be living in the Lower Mainland, is not allowed to travel to Vancouver Island, except to attend court or meet with his lawyer.

He must be at his residence between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. except in the case of a medical emergency. He is not allowed to have any visitors other than his 10-year-old son and his playmates. He is allowed one cellphone, which can only be used to contact his sons, his son’s mother, his lawyer or his bail supervisor, or for work purposes or in an emergency.

He must give the RCMP and his bail supervisor a copy of his monthly cellphone bill and must turn over his phone to the RCMP once a week to ensure compliance with the bail order.

He is not allowed to possess any firearms or other weapons, ammunition or explosive device.

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