Extra security was in place in a Kamloops courtroom on Monday as two of five men charged with murder in connection with a 2018 gang-related slaying made their first appearances since being arrested on Friday.
Four deputy sheriffs stood guard as Nathan Townsend, 23, and Jayden Eustache, 24, appeared separately for brief appearances before a justice of the peace. Both men agreed to remain behind bars for the time being and return to court next week.
Townsend and Eustache, along with Darian Rohel, 44, John Wade Daviss, 38, and Sean Scurt, 46, are charged with second-degree murder in the October 2018 death of 35-year-old Troy Gold.
Gold was reported missing on Oct. 3, 2018. Within days, police announced they believed he had been the victim of foul play. His remains were found weeks later in the Lac du Bois area north of Kamloops.
In the days after Gold’s disappearance, police could be seen scouring a Brocklehurst home belonging to Townsend’s relatives.
Gold had been involved in the city’s drug trade. Townsend, who is also known as Nathan Pawluck, has been linked in the past to the Red Scorpions gang and Rohel is a convicted drug dealer awaiting a lengthy prison sentence following convictions last month.
In court on Monday, defence lawyer Bob Claus, representing Townsend, said he had not received any paperwork from the Crown, despite the fact his client had been in custody for more than two days. Claus set Townsend’s next appearance for Oct. 28.
“We’re trying to get some disclosure between now and then,” he said. “There’s absolutely nothing. I’ve not got a copy of the information or a narrative.”
Townsend and Eustache were wearing street clothes in court, presumably what they were wearing at the time of their arrests on Friday.
Gold’s murder was the first in a series of deadly gang-related incidents in the city over a violent five-month stretch.
On Jan. 23, two men were shot to death in separate incidents outside hotels in Valleyview and Aberdeen. On Feb. 15, two people were shot in a Brocklehurst apartment. One of them died.
No arrests have been made in connection with the January 23 murders, but two men were taken into custody in the days following the Feb. 15 shootings.
Each of the five accused in Gold’s murder are expected to appear in court next week.