The man charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Douglas Presseau downtown on July 7 has been in and out of jail repeatedly over the last decade, and was once labelled a “high risk sexual offender.”
After his release from serving a three-year sentence in 2005, Kirk Joseph Russell was a no-show for a scheduled court appearance where the Langley RCMP sought a peace bond.
Mounties issued a description of Russell saying that he was wanted and thought to be living in the Rosedale/Popkum area.
“Langley RCMP would like to advise Lower Mainland residents of an unaccounted for high risk sexual offender,” the 2005 statement said, in part.
Since that time, Russell has about a dozen convictions and has served various sentences from two days to six months in jail.
The 34-year-old Russell and Victoria Sherri Purcell, 29, are charged with the second-degree murder of 46-year-old Douglas Presseau.
Also killed in the triple stabbing during an altercation near Five Corners was 51-year-old Steven Drage. No one has been charged in Drage’s killing.
Both men were stabbed around 10 p.m. on July 7, one at the location of the old Empress parking lot at Young Road and Princess Avenue, and the other further down Princess.
A third person, a 26-year-old woman, was also stabbed but was brought to hospital and has since been released.
The RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) took conduct of the file, and on July 24 spokesperson Cpl. Meghan Foster was in Chilliwack to announce that charges were laid.
“Securing charge approval is a positive step in this investigation, but much work remains to be done,” Foster said in a prepared statement read at the Airport Road detachment. “Our investigative efforts continue as we move forward with the investigation into the death of Mr. Drage, and we ask anyone with information about his death to contact police.”
Both Russell and Purcell appeared in person in court July 24. In the courtroom, Russell gestured frequently to friends or family in the gallery, one of whom told The Progress outside the court that early reports of what happened that night got it wrong and that the 34-year-old was defending himself.
One witness to the altercation on July 7 told The Progress that both men killed were innocent bystanders who attempted to intervene to stop assaults on other individuals.
When asked Monday about the reports that the men were possibly Good Samaritans or at least bystanders, Foster wouldn’t say.
While Russell has numerous convictions over the last decade, none appear on Court Services Online in the last five years.
In April 2008 he was charged with carrying a weapon or prohibited device and resisting arrest, and was convicted on the latter charge. He was sentenced to six months in jail in September 2008 for possession of stolen property over $5,000.
He has numerous convictions for breaches of probation, along with possession of a controlled substance and mischief $5,000 or under in 2011. Also that same year in November he was sentenced to five months jail for possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, resisting arrest and a breach of probation.
His most recent conviction earned a 55-day sentence for two breaches.
Both Russell and Purcell are next due for a video appearance in court Aug. 1.