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Death of dealer after shot in face accidental, court hears
Posted in HOMICIDE, Tagged News ClippingsApril 19, 2009
The shotgun slaying of a Calgary drug dealer was the result of a botched robbery during a territorial dispute, court heard today.
[the accused] pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of manslaughter with a firearm after another individual came forward and admitted being the gunman who shot Ali Khamis, the Crown said. Prosecutor Vicki Faulkner, reading from an agreed statement of facts, said although [the accused] initially told undercover cops he had slain Khamis as part of a planned murder, the confession was a false one.
And outside court, defence lawyer David Chow said the untrue admission during what he called a job interview with a criminal organization, illustrates the flaws in so-called “Mr. Big” operations.
“That ... highlights the dangers of these Mr. Big operations, which are effectively operations where undercover officers pose as members of a criminal organization,” Chow said.
“It’s like a criminal job interview in a sense,” he said.
“ [the accused] provided a full confession which amounted to a first-degree murder, when in fact that is not what happened.”
Faulkner told Justice Neil Wittmann that [the accused] was charged with first-degree murder after telling the undercover officers he had gone to rob Khamis with the intention of killing him as well. Investigators later learned another individual who was assisting [the accused] in the robbery accidentally killed the victim while pulling a sawed-off shotgun from his sleeve. The cocked weapon unintentionally discharged, striking Khamis in the face from close range, Faulkner said. [the accused] and two others decided to rob Khamis as part of a territorial dispute between the drug dealers in the city’s Shawnessy area.
Khamis was lured to the parking lot of the Shawnessy community centre where one of the robbers bought crack cocaine from him before [the accused] and his other accomplice approached, Faulkner said. [the accused] had decided to rob Khamis, 31, after learning the victim was going to do the same to him. At Chow’s request, Wittmann ordered a forensic report on [the accused] which will include a psychological assessment and a determination of his future risk.
[the accused], who remains in custody, will be sentenced on June 15.
By: Kevin Martin
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