Family members of murder victim Makayla Chang enter Nanaimo Courthouse for the opening of the preliminary hearing for the trial of the accused, Steven Michael Bacon, Monday. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

Family members of murder victim Makayla Chang enter Nanaimo Courthouse for the opening of the preliminary hearing for the trial of the accused, Steven Michael Bacon, Monday. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

Accused in Makayla Chang murder case makes first court appearance in Nanaimo

Steven Michael Bacon’s pre-trial preliminary hearing being held this week

Family members and supporters of murder victim Makayla Chang and her family had their first chance to see Steven Michael Bacon, who is accused of Chang’s murder, in court in Nanaimo.

Bacon appeared at Nanaimo Courthouse on Monday, Nov. 1, for the first day of a pre-trial preliminary hearing that is expected to continue until Nov. 5.

Chang was 16 at the time of her death in 2017.

Bacon, born in 1964, was being held in a maximum-security prison in North Bay, Ont., after he was arrested in 2019 on unrelated charges. He will be tried in Nanaimo on a charge of first-degree murder.

READ ALSO: Man accused of Makayla Chang’s murder to be brought back to Nanaimo for hearing

At a preliminary hearing, the Crown calls witnesses and a judge must determine from evidence presented and witness testimony if there is sufficient evidence upon which a reasonable jury could return a verdict of guilty if the case goes to trial.

A publication ban has been put in place on evidence and witness testimony at the preliminary inquiry, and media was also not allowed into the courtroom Monday because of a lack of seating created by COVID-19 precautions. However, media is allowed to follow the proceedings remotely online.

Notably absent from family members awaiting the start of proceedings Monday was Dolly Chang, Makayla’s grandmother, who died earlier this year, and Makayla’s father Kerry Chang, who was said to be ill.



photos@nanaimobulletin.com

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