McDonald, who is now 60 years old, is accused of firing the shot from his vehicle that killed Jones, who was 35 years old at that time, and was travelling with his wife in a car near the intersection of Highways 97 and 52 near Arras when the fatal shot was fired. McDonald and Jones had allegedly been an altercation during a cabaret at the Windsor Hotel in Dawson Creek on Sept. 25, 1981, before Jones was killed.

Police had set up a roadblock and had stopped and questioned McDonald on the day of the shooting, but they lacked sufficient evidence to arrest him. Shortly after, McDonald, who was visiting Fort St. John at the time, returned to his home country in the United Kingdom.

He remained a person of interest in the case, but it wasn’t until he returned to Canada in 2009 that investigators were able to gather enough evidence to seek a murder charge against him. He was arrested and charged in Surrey on Oct. 14, 2011.

Cpl Annie Linteau with the RCMP’s “E” Division was unable to comment on what new evidence led to the charge of first-degree murder being approved, or what country McDonald had returned to after the shooting.