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Greeks associate should get 20-25 years for role in two slayings

An associate of the Greeks gang convicted for his role in two killings should be sentenced to between 20 and 25 years in jail, B.C. Supreme Court heard Monday

Douglas Brownell should get an eight to 10 year term for his role in the fatal beating of Thomas Bryce in November 2004, as well as a consecutive sentence of 12 to 15 years for his part in the shooting death of Ronald Thom just six months later, Crown prosecutor Gordon Matei said.

Brownell was convicted by a jury last November on two counts of manslaughter in the slayings.

Matei said Brownell should be given double-time credit for the five-years, nine months he has been in custody since his arrest in April of 2007, meaning a deduction of 11 and a half years from whatever sentence he gets.

Matei said Brownell repeatedly used violence to aid the Greeks drug trafficking organization in the Vernon area.

“He was still living a criminal lifestyle at the time of his arrest on April 27, 2007,” Matei said. 

Aggravating factors he urged Justice Bill Smart to consider are Brownell’s lengthy criminal record, the fact he holds racist views, and his history of sexual relationships with underage girls.

“His criminal lifestyle is deeply entrenched.”

Matei said Brownell was 35 when he participated in both killings, so he can’t argue that the crimes were youthful indiscretions.

Even while in jail and on trial, Brownell “attempted to obstruct the course of justice by interfering with witnesses,” Matei said.

He listed convictions for Brownell dating back to 1988 in both Canada and the U.S., including for robbery, rape, unlawful confinement and assault.

He agreed with Smart that it appeared Brownell had no convictions for about a decade before he participated in the fatal beating of Bryce, who had made comments around Vernon that the Greeks that the Greeks thought were a threat to their operation.

Matei said Brownell struck Bryce with an object after another Greeks gangster had hit him with a baseball bat after luring him to a beach outside Vernon.

“Brownell’s participation in the beating had to have taken place while Bryce was on the ground,” Matei said.

The murder of Thom on May 31, 2005 “was not spontaneous,” the Crown noted, adding that Brownell was part of the plan.

Matei played an intercepted call after the Thom murder in which Brownell tells an associate that he has been threatened because he beat up someone. The associate offers to get Brownell “gear” which Matei said could be a reference to firearms.

Brownell’s defence lawyer is expected to make his sentencing submissions Tuesday.

Already three enforcers from the Greeks gang — Dale Sipes, Leslie Podolski and Sheldon O’Donnell — have been sentenced to life in prison without parole eligibility for 25 years after first-degree murder convictions.

Greeks gang boss Peter Manolakos was also convicted of one count of first-degree murder and one of manslaughter.

Smart reserved his ruling on Manolakos’ sentencing until Feb. 7.

The RCMP put together a special task force to look into the gang’s activities in 2004 and 2005, resulting in arrests and charges in May 2006.

While jurors heard evidence in three murders, Greek gang members are also suspects in four other slayings in the north Okanagan.

At the time of their arrests in May 2006, police said the Greeks were major players in the drug trade in the Okanagan and also had tentacles that reached to Grande Prairie, Edmonton, Vancouver and other cities. The Greeks also had links to the Hells Angels

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