Guthrie McKay

Parents fighting for Mission murder victim’s rights

It has been eight years since Mission’s Lisa Dudley was killed, but the legal fight that resulted from her death continues.

It has been eight years since Mission’s Lisa Dudley was killed, but the legal fight that resulted from her death continues.

Her parents Mark and Rosemarie Surakka have turned to the public, via a crowdfunding campaign, to help raise $25,000 to continue the pursuit to uphold their daughter’s rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

In 2008, Dudley, 37, and Guthrie McKay, 33, were shot in a home on Greenwood Drive in rural Mission.

A 911 call reporting the shots was received and Mission RCMP responded. The officer investigating left the scene after being there for approximately 10 minutes and did not follow up the next day.

A neighbour found the victims four days after the targeted shooting.

McKay was pronounced dead at the scene, while Dudley, who had been shot twice in the neck, was still alive. She died on the way to hospital.

Former Mission RCMP officer Cpl. Mike White was reprimanded and docked one day’s pay in 2011 for failing to properly investigate a shots-fired call at the home.

Four men were eventually charged in the shootings.

In 2016, Tom Holden, the fourth and final man charged in the 2008 deaths, pleaded guilty in B.C. Supreme Court.

Three other men – Jack Woodruff, Justin MacKinnon and Bruce Main  – were also charged in the case.

Woodruff, of Surrey, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in 2012, while MacKinnon and Main admitted to manslaughter in 2013.

According to the fundraising website, it is believed that Dudley “would have been located, received earlier medical treatment and lived had the RCMP followed standard procedure and spoken to the neighbour who called the police.”

It goes on to say “the failure of the police to speak to the neighbour who called 911 contributed to Lisa’s suffering and her death.”

According to the site, this is why Rosemarie Surakka launched a legal claim to vindicate Lisa’s rights to life and security of the person under section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Rosemarie is bringing a case against the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada.

Although filed in 2011, the case has faced a number of delays. The Government of Canada brought an unsuccessful application to strike down the case in 2013.

The website says, “The government defendants in the case argue that as soon as a person dies, that person’s rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms die with them, even if government action caused or contributed to the death.”

Rosemarie wants to bring the case before the Supreme Court of Canada but finances are a critical factor.

The website states that the funding is needed for “court costs, expert evidence and other disbursements” to continue the fight and that money raised will go to the case, and not to the family or their lawyer.

For more information about the fundraising campaign, visit justicefundr.ca.