Canada: Man who pointed finger at accused in Pizza Pizza killing is telling truth, Crown tells court in closing arguments - - PressFrom - Canada
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CanadaMan who pointed finger at accused in Pizza Pizza killing is telling truth, Crown tells court in closing arguments

16:17  16 may  2019
16:17  16 may  2019 Source:   thestar.com

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Man who pointed finger at accused in Pizza Pizza killing is telling truth, Crown tells court in closing arguments © Provided by Toronto Star Newspapers Limited Crown witness Winston Poyser testified in court last month that a still from security camera footage shows Lenneil Shaw, left, and Mohamed (Kron-dog) Ali-Nur, right. Poyser said it appeared Shaw is holding a rifle.

Four men were seen in security videos fleeing in a black SUV after 17-year-old Jarryl Hagely was shot dead in a Pizza Pizza on Oct. 16, 2016.

Two months later, one of the men, Winston Poyser, turned himself in to police and gave a statement that led to the arrest of twins Shakiyl and Lenneil Shaw, and Mohamed Ali-Nur.

Whether those three men are the same ones responsible for Hagely’s death at the pizza restaurant near Weston Rd. and Lawrence Ave. W. will be up to a jury to determine based largely on Poyser’s testimony, prosecutor David Tice said in his closing arguments Wednesday.

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“The focus of this case . . . is on whether or not you believe the evidence of Winston Poyser,” Tice said. “I submit to you that the whole of the evidence overwhelmingly establishes that (Poyser) is telling the truth.”

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Shakiyl Shaw was the getaway driver and Lenneil Shaw and Ali-Nur were both armed with guns, Tice told the jury. Shaw and Ali-Nur got to the Pizza Pizza, concealing their faces with their hoods, and both fired their weapons — Shaw fired a shotgun twice and Ali-Nur a handgun at least two times, Tice said.

Poyser is seen in the videos lagging behind the two men. He has denied having a weapon and denied concealing his face, testifying he did not know why they were going to the Pizza Pizza.

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Poyser, now 26, was initially charged with first-degree murder but ultimately pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact to murder and served 18 months in jail. The black SUV the men were in that night belonged to Poyser’s mother and he had borrowed it without permission, Tice said.

The Shaw twins and Ali-Nur have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

In his closing address to the jury, Tice acknowledged Poyser’s memory of the night was unreliable at times and that he had been drinking and took MDMA. But, he said, Poyser was certain of the identities of the men he was with that night.

He had known the Shaw twins for years, Tice said, and while Poyser only met Ali-Nur that day and knew him by the name “Kron-dog,” they spent several hours together and he remembered his face. Tice said the men also match the build and appearance of the men in the security videos from locations near the Pizza Pizza.

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“He wanted to do the right thing,” Tice said of why Poyser came forward and testified. “He came here with nothing to hide and nothing to gain.”

Poyser is not in witness protection at his own request so he can remain in contact with his family, but remains frightened for his life and has taken precautions to ensure his safety, Tice said.

Defence lawyers have suggested Poyser concocted this story and identified the wrong men in order to shift blame from the real killers and to remain safe. Tice argued there is no evidence of this, or for why Poyser would choose to identify the Shaw twins who he’d known for a long time and who he had no bad blood with.

Tice said Poyser’s evidence is corroborated in part by cellphone evidence, security footage and other circumstantial evidence.

At one point Tice showed the jury the shotgun allegedly used in the shooting which has been made an exhibit in the trial. Poyser testified he’d seen the gun in a bag in the basement where he said he’d spent part of the evening with the Shaws and Ali-Nur. Matching gun parts for the shotgun were found in the basement by police, Tice said.

Tice said the jury must be wondering why this terrible crime happened.

“Not every case comes with all the answers,” he said.

There is no clear motive the Crown can point to in this murder, he said, but motive is not necessary to finding the three men guilty of a planned and deliberate murder, he said.

The defence lawyers begin closing arguments Thursday.

Alyshah Hasham is a Toronto-based reporter covering crime and court. Follow her on Twitter: @alysanmati

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