Jason Curtiss Billing, 36, was sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver after being convicted of aggravated assault. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Surrey man who stabbed victim six times claimed self-defence

Stabber had 44 prior convictions; 14 for violent offences

A Surrey man who stabbed a Richmond man six times after the victim called him a “goof” during a spat in the victim’s driveway has been sentenced to two years in prison, on top of 527 days credit for time served, to be followed by three years probation.

The stabbing happened on June 15, 2016, on Kevin Markland’s driveway. Justice Joyce DeWitt-Van Oosten, who presided over the case in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, noted that Jason Curtiss Billing, 36, had been on probation at the time of the stabbing and had 44 prior convictions. At least 14 of those, she noted, were for violent crimes including assault, assault with a weapon, criminal harassment, robbery, using an imitation firearm and uttering threats.

A jury found Billing guilty of aggravated assault. He also pleaded guilty to two counts of breaching a non-communication order.

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Billing testified it was self-defence. Four of the six stab wounds were to Markland’s back.

“At trial, Mr. Billing had no explanation as to why the wounds were in the back,” the judge noted.

The court heard Markland lived in Richmond with his wife and Billing’s girlfriend lived there too. Billing drove by several times, honking his horn and leaving skid marks on the pavement. He wanted to see his girlfriend, she declined and he got angry.

Later that morning, Markland went to a nearby gas station to get some gas for his lawnmower, returned to find Billing’s vehicle in his driveway and Billings arguing with his wife. Billings then parked on the street and Markland parked in the carport.

“Mr. Billing began walking up the driveway toward Kevin Markland,” the judge noted. “Mr. Markland got out of his vehicle and told Mr. Billing to get off the property.

“He called him a ‘goof,’ or something to this effect,” she noted. “In prison parlance, this term can be taken as an invitation to fight.”

Markland was stabbed with an eight centimetre long blade.

Billing was arrested later that day. “He acted erratically when arrested, kicking the inside of the police vehicle and chewing foam that was around the window between the front and back seat,” DeWitt-Van Oosten observed. “He acknowledge using illicit drugs on June 15.”

The sentence is on top of the credit Billing received for the 351 days he spent in jail awaiting trial and sentencing. Under Section 719(3.1) of the Criminal Code, he’s entitled to 1.5 days credit for each day served, making that 527 days.

The Crown sought a sentence of four to five years for aggravated assault and six months consecutive for the two breaches while the defence argued for time served, followed by probation.

tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com