calgary defence blog
A Defence lawyer's perspective on issues in criminal law
Shotgun slaying unintended
Posted in HOMICIDE, Tagged News ClippingsDecember 15, 2009
The shotgun slaying of a Calgary drug dealer was the result of a botched robbery during a territorial dispute, court heard yesterday.
[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] told undercover cops he killed Khamis, the confession was false.
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" stings. "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. Investigators later learned another man, Justin Gittens, who assisted [the accused] in the June 6, 2006, 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] had decided to rob Khamis as part of a territorial dispute between the drug dealers in the city's Shawnessy area.
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