He randomly stabbed a well-liked Winnipeg musician to death during a brief encounter in Osborne Village.
Now the man behind the deadly January 2014 attack has learned his fate. Mowlid Mohamed, 28, was found guilty by a jury of second-degree murder and attempted murder. He was facing an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for at least 10 years, but Queen's Bench Justice Gerald Chartier increased that to 13 years in a written decision released this week.
Joshua Bentley, 18, suffered a fatal stab wound to the heart in an area not far from the Osborne Bridge. A 20-year-old friend was also stabbed but survived.
"Mr. Mohamed's actions have seriously transgressed our society's code of values, in this instance by taking away a fellow citizen's right to life. The murder of Mr. Bentley was unprovoked, capricious and senseless, making it therefore a particularly evil act. I easily agree that parole ineligibility should be raised," said Chartier.
Bentley and Mohamed had been at the same party that evening at the Evergreen Place apartment complex, but otherwise didn't know each other. Bentley and his friends left the party and were walking to the nearby Granite Curling Club for a fundraising social when they were confronted by Mohamed, who approached in a van and honked his horn.
"At least some of the members of the group thought that they were being offered a ride to the social by Mr. Mohamed and (a female friend who was with him). They recognized them from the party they had just attended. Mr. Bentley and (his friend who was also stabbed) turned around and began a light jog back to meet them," Chartier wrote.
"Mr. Bentley and Mr. Mohamed approached each other at the southwest corner of the bridge. Without saying anything, Mr. Mohamed placed his left hand on Mr. Bentley’s right shoulder and with his right hand plunged a knife once into the stomach and another into the heart of Mr. Bentley."
Bentley was rushed to hospital but died within the hour. Witnesses told court there were no "noteworthy arguments or disagreements" at the party to provide a possible motive for what happened. Mohamed has offered up no explanation
Mohamed is associated with the African Mafia street gang and goes by the street name Soldier, a police gang expert's report states. He has a lengthy prior criminal history including weapons possession, drug trafficking and assault and was on probation at the time of the slaying.
He's been monitored by the Gang Response and Suppression Program (GRASP) in the past, court heard.
"He was born in Somalia and left there as a refugee when he was between four and five years old and remained in a refugee camp in Kenya until he was 10. His parents were killed in Somalia. He eventually came to Canada with his brother when he was 10. He originally moved to Toronto and thereafter settled in Winnipeg. He has a Grade 10 education. He has been in a common-law relationship that began 13 years ago. He has an eight-year-old child from that relationship and remains in contact with him," Chartier wrote in his sentencing decision.
Bentley's friends described him as loved and passionate about music. A graduate of St. Norbert Collegiate, Bentley was the lead singer in the hardcore rock group Empty Hands, friends and family told the Free Press.