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This article was published 24/11/2021 (220 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A jury has convicted three men of first-degree murder in the revenge killing of 20-year-old Rig Debak Moulebou.
Jurors returned their verdict against Javaid Wahabi, Abdullahi Mohamed and Munachehr Haroon Wednesday night after more than a full day of deliberations.
All three men were convicted of additional counts of conspiracy to commit murder.
The mandatory sentence for first-degree murder is life in prison with no chance of parole for at least 25 years.
The Crown’s case hinged on the testimony of Arnold Nduta, who was also initially charged in Moulebou’s Nov. 4, 2019, murder but later granted immunity from prosecution in return for his testimony.
Two days before he was killed, Moulebou fatally shot 23-year-old Jamshaid Wahabi — Javaid Wahabi’s brother — inside Citizen Nightclub. While Moulebou died before he could be charged, both the prosecution and defence accepted as fact that Moulebou was the killer.
Jurors heard evidence Javaid Wahabi and others immediately began searching for Moulebou and found him two days later, at a residential rental property on Tim Sale Drive.
Jurors heard the three accused and Nduta jointly plotted Moulebou’s murder, with Haroon and Mohamed agreeing to shoot him.
Tabitha Greive, who was Nduta’s on-again, off-again girlfriend at the time, testified she and a friend had rented the Tim Sale Drive home for the month of October via an online service. After returning from a trip to Montreal on Nov. 2, she found the entry code to the home had been changed and Moulebou was occupying it.
"A man opened the door, who we later found out was Rig," Greive said.
Greive said she spent the night at a hotel and returned to the house the next day to pick up her belongings, after which Moulebou accompanied her on errands.
"He had a dirty T-shirt wrapped around his leg with a wound on it," she said.
Greive said she called the owner of the house, who agreed to let her stay for a couple of more days.
She said she woke the next morning to find Moulebou in bed with her, pushing her for sex, to which she ultimately agreed. Later that day, after police knocked on the door looking for the owner of the house, Greive called Nduta to pick her up.
"I didn’t want to stay there, I just didn’t have anywhere else at the time," she said.
When Nduta arrived, "He asked me to step outside the house door," Greive said. "I was confused why he asked me that. It was winter and I didn’t have my coat on."
As she exited, two men wearing masks and gloves walked from around the corner and into the house.
"I heard two gunshots… almost immediately," she said.
Greive said Nduta took her by the shoulders to a waiting car, where they were quickly joined by the two masked men, who sat in the back seat.
Jurors were told Moulebou was shot 11 times in the head and torso as he slept.
Evidence against the three accused included intercepted cellphone conversations and cell tower transmissions showing their locations at the time of the killing.
Lawyers for the three men argued that other than Nduta’s testimony, there was no direct evidence tying them to Moulebou’s slaying. Nduta, they told jurors, had everything to gain and nothing to lose by lying to the court.
Wahabi’s lawyer, Ryan Amy, argued Nduta’s lies allowed him to escape prosecution and deportation, and have his housing needs and other expenses paid for by the state.
Someone once said a journalist is just a reporter in a good suit. Dean Pritchard doesn’t own a good suit. But he knows a good lawsuit.