Susan Simning has planned her life for the past seven years around the next court appearance of a complete stranger – the man who killed her son.
Her next appointment related to Russell Bidesi will be in 15 years when he’s eligible for parole after being sentenced Friday to life in prison.
“We did get to exhale a bit today,” Simning told the Langley Advance. “But it’s still in the back of my mind that I have to go back again in 15 years time.”
Bidesi was recently found guilty of the 2011 murder of Simning’s son, Brad McPherson, and she has been in court for every appearance and stage of the legal proceedings.
“It’s been our life for seven years now,” she said.
The Langley man was murdered on Christmas Eve Day 2011 in retaliation for trying to intervene when a woman was being harassed at a house party.
Bidesi was identified as a suspect during the course of the investigation. His trial began in September 2017, and the verdict on second-degree murder came down Feb. 16, 2018.
Bidesi’s life sentence was welcomed by McPherson’s family and friends but the feeling of justice was tempered when the courts said his parole eligibility would be 15 years. Simning said the Crown had asked for at least 20.
“I was obviously elated to hear that he was getting a life sentence,” Simning told the Advance.
But she was disappointed at the parole eligibility ruling.
“He doesn’t deserve to be out,” she noted. “It would be different if he ever showed the slightest ounce of remorse.”
She added that her’s is not the only family that has been harmed by this man.
Bidesi was convicted of manslaughter in the death of 31-year-old Kacey Rogers in 2012 during a botched home invasion. Bidesi was charged with second-degree murder but it was dropped down to manslaughter.
Simning is grateful for the family and friends who have supported her over the years, noting they’ve sacrificed to be in court but there were lots of postponements and delays.
She praised Crown counsel and said the judge, Madame Justice Duncan, did all she would to keep the legal proceedings from stalling but Bidesi would stall and change legal counsel often. Simning said the legal system needs to be overhauled.
“The justice system and how long it takes all of these trials to come together is ridiculous,” she added.