Parents of accused killer in Bolsa restaurant gang slaying didn’t know their son was street gang member

Article originally appeared in: Calgary Herald

CALGARY — The parents of accused killer [The Accused] both testified on Thursday that nobody ever came to their home and threatened them or demanded to know where they could find their son.

His Parents also insisted they did not know their son was a member of a street gang until shortly before the triple shooting deaths at Bolsa Restaurant on Jan. 1, 2009, for which Real, 28, is on trial for three counts of first-degree murder.

“No, I was not aware of that before this issue,” he told lawyer Tonii Roulston, noting he learned his son was in a gang when he “saw his face in the news” in December 2008 or so.

Both parents also said no gang member ever came to their home and made them feel scared.

His Father also said he was never at home when his wife talked about someone coming to the home and threatening them with violence.

“No, there’s no time like that,” said the father.

The father said under cross-examination by Crown prosecutor Rajbir Dhillon, however, his son called him between January and March 2009 and told him police advised him his life was in danger and he needed to get out of Calgary. He said his son was already in Vancouver at that time.

Despite that call, his Father said no police ever contacted him regarding his or his son’s safety.

The parents’ evidence contrasted what their son told undercover police officers in the later stages of a three-month sting operation into the shooting deaths of FK gang member Sanjeev Mann, 23, FK associate Aaron Bendle, 21, and bystander Keni S’ua, 43.

[The Accused] told undercover detectives Rey Bangloy and Darren Berglind that his motive for kidnapping Bendle and setting him up to kill Mann was because Mann had come to his parents’ house and threatened them with harm if they didn’t tell him where he could find their son.

Defence lawyers Greg Dunn and Roulston say their client was not one of the killers at the Vietnamese eatery in Macleod Mall, and that he only lied about the threats to his family, being involved in the kidnapping of Bendle to set up Mann, and the slayings to gain favour with the undercover officers.

The lawyers have pointed out numerous lies and inconsistencies in what their client told the detectives, who purported to be part of a powerful international crime organization.

The accused had been doing work for them for three months and met the crime boss (Berglind) in June 2009, so they could discuss new information they received about the Bolsa shootings and help him get new identity and keep working for them.

[The Accused]’s parents said their son had not been living with them for three or four years before the shootings, although they did see him on several occasions.

The father agreed with Dhillon that in the last two or three years before the shootings he knew “very little” about his son’s life. [The Accused] did not testify during the trial.

The jury was sent home by Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Glen Poelman until Monday, when the lawyers will present their finals arguments.

The judge is then expected to give his final instructions to the jury on Tuesday.