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Murder victim died from single gunshot wound to head, trial told

The jury will return to court Thursday for closing submissions from the Crown and defence.
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The body of Dillon Brown was found inside his car near Sayward in March 2016. VIA YOUTUBE

Dillon Brown died from a single gunshot wound to the head, a forensic pathologist testified Monday in B.C. Supreme Court.

Dr. Matthew Orde disclosed these findings while testifying as an expert witness at Richard Alexander’s trial for the first-degree murder of Brown on March 11, 2016.

The Crown alleges that Alexander, former president of the motorcycle club Devil’s Army, shot the 30-year-old mixed martial arts fighter in the basement of the Devil’s Army clubhouse in Campbell River. Alexander has pleaded not guilty.

Justice Geoffrey Gaul cautioned jurors that they would see images and hear evidence that might be upsetting but would help them understand the cause of death.

“You are not to let the graphic nature of the images sway you one way or the other,” said Gaul, advising jurors that they could take a break if needed.

Orde told the jury that he had trained in South Africa “where he saw hundreds of people who died from gunshot wounds.”

Orde testified that a black garbage bag had been secured snugly around Brown’s neck. When he removed it, he found a gunshot wound on the back of Brown’s head. Orde also found little spotty red marks around the wound — called gunpowder tattooing — which indicated the weapon had been fired from close range.

Gunpowder tattooing typically occurs with a handgun fired from less than half a metre or with a rifle fired from about one metre, Orde explained.

The bullet passed through Brown’s skull, exiting through his right upper eyelid.

The final Crown witness was forensic identification officer Sgt. Keith Stone, who searched the Devil’s Army clubhouse on Peterson Road in Campbell River on Aug. 10, 2017.

Stone testified that he attended a meeting that morning at the Campbell River detachment with members of the Campbell River RCMP, the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit and the Combined Special Forces Enforcement Unit.

The emergency response team had already gone in and cleared out the clubhouse.

Stone was tasked with locating evidence in connection with the murder. He was told to look for firearms and ammunition, a journal belonging to Alexander and DNA.

Brown’s DNA was found in seven places in the basement of the clubhouse.

The Crown has now closed its case.

The jury will return to court Thursday for closing submissions from the Crown and defence.

It’s expected the jury will be charged Friday and begin their deliberations.

ldickson@timescolonist.com