A man gunned down in Richmond Wednesday was once charged in connection with the murder of Lotus Gang boss Raymond Chan.
In fact, Justine Nethaniel Po, 36, is the second person involved in the Chan slaying to be murdered in Richmond.
His co-accused Mark James Thrower was shot to death at his apartment in February 2005 – the same day he was to go to trial for killing the high-profile gangster in May 2003.
Po pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact in the Chan murder and was sentenced to nine months in jail.
A 2005 court ruling in the Chan case referred to wiretaps on which “Po is intercepted talking about his role in driving the car of the victim from the crime scene” and destroying the evidence.
“Po later disposed of the clothes, handcuffs, mag light, cell phones and pagers at a number of locations, including Confederation Park, the Iron Workers Bridge and at a Stanley Park beach,” the ruling said.
Po also had a record for uttering threats and driving while prohibited when he was shot at the intersection of Katsura Street and Ferndale Road outside of a Richmond apartment complex Wednesday afternoon.
Police believe that after the shooting, a male suspect entered a vehicle and fled the area, Sgt. Jennifer Pound, of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, said Thursday.
She also said that investigators can’t yet confirm if Po’s murder has anything to do with “gang or organized crime connections.”
“The area where this homicide occurred is a highly populated residential area. To have a shooting occur in broad day light in the midst of innocent bystanders is unacceptable. IHIT is asking the public to assist investigators in keeping communities safe by coming forward with any information you may have about this brazen and selfish act,” Pound said.
Thrower’s murder remains unsolved. A third man charged in the Chan slaying, Michael Andrew Mercredi, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 2006 and got a life sentence with no parole eligibility for 12 years.
Another accused in the case told police that the plan was to kidnap Chan – a gangster who drove a BMW and had a home in the British Properties – and extort money from him.
Chan, a high-level cocaine dealer, was found beaten and stabbed to death May 12, 2003 in an alley behind the Richmond courthouse.
–Kim Bolan, The Vancouver Sun