Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

First-degree murder charges laid in rooming-house death

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City police have laid first-degree murder charges in connection to a grisly rooming-house slaying in Winnipeg's inner city.Kworo Ojulu, 26 and Ojullo Agwa, 42, are in custody facing the most serious charge in the Criminal Code after being arrested by homicide investigators at homes on Kennedy Street and Riverton Avenue early Thursday morning.

Philip Nhial Mayur, 39, was fatally stabbed in the upper body at his small rooming-house apartment on the evening of Nov. 8. Witnesses described the aftermath as a grisly scene.

Police believe his slaying was planned and premeditated, but wouldn't comment Friday on the motive for Mayur being attacked.

A police source, however, indicated that Mayur was allegedly killed as a result of a dispute over a relationship he had with a woman.

Investigators had been informed of potential suspects seen leaving Mayur's Balmoral Street suite after he was stabbed, and made extensive efforts to locate them.

There is no apparent gang connection in the case, Const. Nick Paulet said.

Neither Ojulu nor Agwa has other pending charges or prior criminal convictions in Manitoba, court records show. They are presumed innocent until proved guilty.

Mayur came to Canada from Africa in 1997 and had been studying to eventually take a job in veterinary medicine. He was reported to be the father to four children.

His integration into Canadian life seems to have had its share of rocky times: Mayur was charged four years ago with assault with a weapon after he allegedly tossed a chair at a welfare worker after being cut off from social assistance benefits.

A year later, he was charged again for allegedly twice assaulting a neighbour and threatening to kill her in a dispute over money.

At the time, he was also wanted on an outstanding warrant in Ontario for fraud.

Ojulu and Agwa are being held in custody at the Winnipeg Remand Centre after their charges came up in court yesterday.

james.turner@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 6, 2008 B2

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