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Evidence in B.C. murder trial supports conviction of gangster: Crown

Jul 15, 2023

Crown Joe Bellows told a B.C. Supreme Court judge Wednesday that there is significant evidence that Tyrel Nguyen is guilty of two murders

Alleged Brothers Keepers hitman Tyrel Nguyen admitted his involvement in two targeted murders to a former associate who testified against him, a prosecutor said in closing submissions Wednesday.

And Crown Joe Bellows said the evidence provided by the one-time associate, who can only be identified as AB, was corroborated both by a police investigation and by incriminating notes Nguyen wrote on a white board in 2019 as he was secretly being recorded.

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Bellows told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Miriam Gropper that there is compelling evidence of Nguyen’s guilt in the 2017 murder of rival gangster Randy Kang and 2018 slaying of Jagvir Malhi, a university student who was not an intended target.

The veteran prosecutor argued that Nguyen’s rap video My Life — a tribute to Brothers Keepers gang founder Gavin Grewal — describes a murder that happens very much like the Kang hit in Surrey on Oct. 27, 2017.

“The Crown submits that portions of the music video recording contain admissions made by Nguyen about the killing of Randeep Kang,” Bellows said, citing two lines in the song.

“Hop out the whip with a burner, bitch. Headshot. I’m dumping clips — that’s plural shit,” and “I heard there was a tag, half a clip into his brain.”

He noted that Kang was shot in the head after his killers arrived in a vehicle, or “whip”.

“The Crown submits that the term ‘tag’ refers to a pricetag on Randy Kang’s head that would be paid to a contract killer.”

Bellows also pointed out that a blue Acura TL used during the killing of Malhi in Abbotsford on Nov. 12, 2018 was only partially burned after a quick-thinking area resident doused the flames when he found the car on fire in Surrey.

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Inside, police located two disposable gloves in the side pocket of the driver’s door that contained Nguyen’s DNA, he said.

“It is reasonable to conclude that the accused wore these gloves as he shot Mr. Malhi to avoid his fingerprints being found on the murder weapon,” Bellows said.

Nguyen’s DNA was also found between the mouth and eye openings on the inside of a balaclava that was in the car.

“It is reasonable to conclude that the accused wore this balaclava when he shot Mr. Malhi to avoid being identified,” Bellows said.

Nguyen’s fingerprint was “found on the trunk edge to the left of the licence plate,” Bellows said.

He also said the DNA of Nguyen’s associate Joseph (Rucks) Whitlock, who is not charged but was identified as a suspect by AB in his testimony, was also found on “Mechanix” gloves in the Acura, as was “a Smith & Wesson 9 mm handgun … with an empty magazine inside. This is the firearm that killed Mr. Malhi.”

“Clearly, this was the car that was driven into Malhi’s car and from which the perpetrators emerged and killed him,” Bellows said.

“The fingerprint, the DNA on both gloves and the DNA on the inside of a balaclava, all in or on the car used in the murder of Mr. Malhi, is real evidence, and it provides independent evidence which corroborates the evidence of AB that the accused admitted to him that he killed Mr. Malhi in the company of Rucks.”

The same Acura was captured on a neighbour’s CCTV camera driving by the Malhi family home 35 times in the week before the murder, he said.

AB, who admitted to a lengthy criminal history, qualifies as an unsavoury or “Vetrovec” witness, Bellows said.

“He committed robberies, some of them violent, some involving firearms. He made his living selling drugs. … He stabbed someone several times in the torso causing that person serious bodily harm.”

But he said the fact AB worked for Nguyen in the drug trade and had known him for years “is also highly relevant in a determination of whether the accused trusted him to the extent that he would have discussed his involvement in two murders. It is submitted that the trust is apparent.”

The Crown’s closing submissions are expected to be completed Thursday, with submissions by Nguyen’s defence lawyer Michael Klein next week.

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