Chilliwack’s Aaron Douglas to be retried for first-degree murder

Sentenced to life in prison for one 2014 killing, first jury couldn’t come to a decision on second

Aaron Douglas being arrested in Abbotsford in 2014 after 49 days on the lam. He was convicted of killing Tyler Belcourt and attempted murder of Penni White but a jury couldn’t decide if he killed Richard Blackmon. (Kevin MacDonald file)

Dates have been set Aaron Douglas’s retrial for the first-degree murder of Richard Blackmon in Chilliwack four years ago.

Douglas was in BC Supreme Court in New Westminster on Oct. 11 to schedule the pre-trial conference for the second trial in the Blackmon killing, a hearing that begins May 14, 2019.

The case involves the dramatic double murder of Tyler Belcourt and Richard Blackmon in a downtown Chilliwack apartment in cold blood on Aug. 7, 2014. Penni White survived the incident that took years to get to trial.

• READ MORE: Aaron Douglas to be retried for 2014 murder of Richard Blackmon

• READ MORE: Chilliwack double-murder suspect arrested in Abbotsford

That trial on two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder lasted 40 days with the charge to the jury wrapping up on June 26, 2017. The 11-person jury deliberated for two days before returning with the one guilty verdict on the lesser-included count of second-degree murder of Belcourt.

He was also found guilty of the attempted murder of White.

But the jury was unable to come to a verdict on the Blackmon killing. Last October, the B.C. Prosecution Service decided to re-try Douglas on the Blackmon count.

In January, Douglas was sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility for parole for 13 years for killing Belcourt.

Murder comes with an automatic life sentence but the judge had to decide on parole eligibility of between 10 and 25 years. After the verdict, the jury was asked for their views. Five recommended parole eligibility of 10 years, one recommended 15 years, one 20 years, and four had no recommendation.

After Blackmon and Belcourt were killed and White was injured that day in 2014, Douglas was on the lam for 49 days before being arrested in Abbotsford on Sept. 25, 2014.


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paul.henderson@theprogress.com

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Aaron Douglas was sentenced on Feb. 9, 2018 to life in prison with no chance of parole for 13 years for the 2014 killing of Tyler Belcourt. He is to be re-tried for the murder of Richard Blackmon in September 2018.

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