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Killer appealing conviction of New Westminster trucker's 1998 murder

Vic Fraser (above) was killed in Surrey in 1998. Gary Johnston, who was convicted of murdering him, is appealing. - File photo/Black Press
Vic Fraser (above) was killed in Surrey in 1998. Gary Johnston, who was convicted of murdering him, is appealing.
— image credit: File photo/Black Press

Sheila Reynolds

Black Press

A man found guilty of murdering a New Westminster trucker during a botched break-in in Surrey nearly 16 years ago is appealing his conviction.

Gary Donald Johnston was sentenced to life in prison in 2011 for the second-degree murder of trucker Vic Fraser in March 1998.

He was robbing resident Jeanie Fraser's home in the Bridgeview area when her brother, Vic Fraser, a New West resident, interrupted him. The two knew each other and initially greeted one another kindly.

But Johnston panicked, taking knives from the kitchen and stabbing Vic in the neck several times. He then kicked the 41-year-old and threw a clay pot on his head before stealing his wallet and fleeing.

During sentencing, the trial judge said Johnston could have simply left the home that day, but instead committed a "remorseless, brutal, sustained and violent attack."

Johnston wasn't arrested for the Surrey murder until 2009, after he admitted the crime to an undercover police officer in a Mr. Big-style sting.

Jeannie Fraser said though it's painful for her to relive the horror of her brother's death, she'll attend the appeal hearing, scheduled for Monday (Jan. 13) in Vancouver.

"I have to go because this is my brother, who's not here to defend himself," she said.

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