Man ac­cused in death de­nies fir­ing gun he took to party

Ty­rone Cham­bers blames Dun­durn Street shoot­ing squarely on co-ac­cused

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - CARMELA FRAGOMENI

One of two men charged in the death of Hamil­ton teen Bran­don Mus­grave at a stu­dent house party in 2010 says he did not fire his hand­gun at any point that night.

Ty­rone Cham­bers, 31, was tes­ti­fy­ing in his own de­fence Thurs­day dur­ing a jury trial. He and Joshua David Warner, 29, are ac­cused of sec­ond-de­gree mur­der and ag­gra­vated as­sault in the shoot­ing of Mus­grave and of two other stu­dents who sur­vived. Kauner Chi­nambu was shot in the wrist and chest and Ted Tsibu-Darkoh, in the shoul­der.

The vic­tims were guests at a March 12, 2010, spring break party given by Columbia In­ter­na­tional Col­lege stu­dents liv­ing at 53 Dun­durn St. S.

Cham­bers ad­mit­ted to bring­ing a hand­gun, hid­den in his clothes, to the party he learned of through his brother. He also ad­mit­ted tak­ing his gun out, point­ing it at three peo­ple and waiv­ing it around.

But Cham­bers in­sisted he did not even fire the gun and blamed the shoot­ings squarely on Warner.

The trial, now in its sixth week, has heard Mus­grave was shot in the head while try­ing to calm a dis­pute over mu­sic. Cham­bers did not like the mu­sic and tried to put on his own.

Cham­bers tes­ti­fied the mu­sic “sounded weird” and “wasn’t party mu­sic.” He asked Wes­ley Adi to change it, but said he was taken aback when Adi re­sponded with: “Who are you to tell me to change the mu­sic? You’re not even from this house.”

Cham­bers said he re­sponded with a deroga­tory re­mark.

“I think I of­fended him. I said let’s go out­side to talk about it.”

Adi agreed to go, but oth­ers in­ter­vened. One in par­tic­u­lar was “coun­ter­pro­duc­tive. …

“I end up telling him to shut up,” Cham­bers tes­ti­fied.

When a big fel­low “looked like he wanted to punch me … I started to get ner­vous.”

That’s when Cham­bers, then 23, took out his gun to scare them, he said.

“I could end this f---ing party right now,” he said, be­fore putting the gun down by his side and say­ing he was only there “to chill.”

Ev­ery­one stared at him and then shots rang out from be­hind, hit­ting Chi­nambu first and then Mus­grave, Cham­bers said.

Cham­bers said he saw Warner fire a gun. He said he had no idea Warner had a gun with him.

“It was sur­real. I couldn’t be­lieve it. My first in­stinct was to get out of there.”

Cham­bers ad­mit­ted to flee­ing the party be­hind Warner, say­ing he pan­icked. He also ac­knowl­edged hid­ing his gun in a front­yard bush on Canada Street and later re­triev­ing it. And he ad­mit­ted flee­ing to Hal­i­fax where a friend’s fam­ily of­fered him safe haven.

“I thought if I laid low for a while, it would come out who the shooter was.”

Cham­bers also ad­mit­ted that at the time of the party, he had a crim­i­nal record for drug traf­fick­ing and pos­ses­sion of stolen prop­erty, and was pro­hib­ited from pos­sess­ing firearms.

When his lawyer, Christo­pher Hicks, got him to de­scribe his up­bring­ing, he said his mother was a drug ad­dict and his fa­ther was ab­sent, putting him in the care of Chil­dren’s Aid and in fos­ter homes since he was three.

The jury is aware Cham­bers and Warner have had a trial be­fore on these charges and that an ap­peals court or­dered a new trial af­ter find­ing the judge made a fun­da­men­tal er­ror.

The trial is sched­uled to re­sume on Mon­day with Warner’s lawyer, Devin Baines, ques­tion­ing Cham­bers.

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