Fire crews come to the aid of a victim of  a 2009 car crash. Jason Brewer

Fire crews come to the aid of a victim of a 2009 car crash. Jason Brewer

New Year’s murder suspect ‘no stranger to justice system’

Jason Brewer, 24, was on probation for assaulting his mother with a knife at the time of his arrest in connection with Willoughby killing

The man charged in a New Year’s Eve murder in Langley was no stranger to the criminal justice system.

He was on probation for assaulting his mother with a knife at the time of his arrest, and currently faces charges in relation to a car crash that permanently injured two people.

Jason Brewer, 24, is charged with the second-degree murder of a man police are calling “his friend,” Cole Manning, 40. He was shot to death in a Willoughby basement suite in the early morning hours of Dec. 31, 2012.

Brewer led police on a short pursuit and it took several police cars ramming his vehicle to affect his arrest. Brewer was taken down on 264 Street, near the Greater Vancouver Zoo. His next court appearance for the murder charge is Jan. 16.

The following day he will be back in court for a pre-trial conference in connection with a 2009 multi-vehicle crash on Highway 10 that left two victims with life-long, serious injuries. In that incident, he is charged with two counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and two counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm, with the Crown alleging he deliberately drove his vehicle into oncoming traffic with the intention of killing himself.

Originally, Brewer pleaded guilty to those charges.

But soon after, he applied to change that plea to not guilty and take the charges to trial.

In June 2012, Provincial Court Judge P.D. Gulbransen ruled in Brewer’s favour, allowing him to withdraw his guilty plea.

The crash he is accused of causing occurred on Nov. 15, 2009, at about 3:20 p.m.  Brewer was driving a pickup truck eastbound on Highway 10 near 192 Street. His  vehicle swerved into the westbound lanes of Highway 10, Gulbransen recounted in his court ruling.

Brewer’s vehicle hit an oncoming car on its front passenger side, then collided head-on with a second vehicle, a GMC Jimmy, occupied by two people. The pickup then “barrel-rolled” over three vehicles which were travelling behind the GMC.

The occupants in the Jimmy both suffered “devastating, permanent, life-long injuries,” noted Gulbransen. Brewer was also trapped in the truck, suffering a broken jaw and minor injuries.

Charges weren’t sworn until March 2011.  By then, Brewer had been on bail for charges of robbing a Mac’s store in Langley in 2009. His mom posted his $2,500 bail.

Brewer’s mother took back her bail money after her son assaulted her with a knife. Brewer was found guilty of attacking his mom and was sentenced to one day in jail and 18 months probation.

For the two counts of robbery in connection to the Mac’s store theft, Brewer was found guilty in July 2012, and given one day in jail, 18 months probation and a lifetime firearms ban.

In reference to rescinding Brewer’s guilty plea, Gulbransen wrote: “I have struggled with this decision because of the horrific nature of the injuries to the two victims, but it is important that the court not let sympathy for the victims of a potentially callous and wanton act by Brewer to overshadow the need for justice to be done.”