Mother of 2016 double homicide victim heartbroken following sentencing of 6 men responsible
Xuan Van Vy Ba-Cao and Samantha Le were killed when they arrived home to find a kidnapping in progress
Families of Samantha Le and Xuan Van Vy Ba-Cao shook their heads in disbelief after realizing the men charged with the manslaughter of their loved ones would spend less than 15 years behind bars.
Sentencing of the six men found guilty of multiple offences in connection with the double homicide and a kidnapping in 2016 was handed down Monday afternoon.
Deterrence and the possibility of rehabilitation played factors in the decision, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Arne Silverman said.
Ellwood Bradbury, Gopal Figueredo, Shamil Ali and Matthew Stewart were given 18 year sentences for the offences, all to be served at the same time. Minus time served, all four will spend less than 15 years in jail.
Justice Silverman said all four had extensive criminal records, noting they had all had an opportunity to rehabilitate themselves.
Erlan Acosta was given 14 year sentences for his role in the kidnapping and double homicide, also to be served concurrently. Minus time served he will spend 10 years in jail.
Herinam Cox, the youngest of those sentenced, was 21 years old at the time of the offences. Justice Silverman said he was the most likely to rehabilitate and was the only one with no criminal record prior to the offences.
Cox was given a 12 year sentences, also to be served at the same time. With time served, he will spend less than eight years in jail.
As the sentencing came down, some of the convicted celebrated and blew kisses to friends and family sitting in the gallery.
Thu Ba-Cao, Xuan Van Vy Ba-Cao's mom, said she could not believe her ears, adding anything less than a life sentence was unacceptable.
"I just want to let the whole world know that a sentence like that it's not fair for our family. They should let them stay in there for the rest of their lives," she said while holding back tears.
Le, 29, and Ba-Cao, 24, were shot twice in the head after accidentally interrupting a kidnapping in September 2016. The two are believed to have lived in the same East Vancouver house as the kidnapping victim.
According to Crown counsel, Ba-Cao's four-year-old son witnessed the killing of Le and his dad and was left with the bodies for several hours.
Justice Silverman told the gallery the victims were "brutally murdered." The kidnapping lasted several days and he said bolt cutters and blowtorches were used.