The Hamilton Spectator
Verdict in parking lot brawl murder trial expected in a week
The case of a teen charged with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of 19-year-old Ali Mohummad now rests with the presiding judge.
The trial began Jan. 3 and concluded Monday after closing submissions. Ontario Court Justice Tony Leitch is expected to deliver his verdict Monday.
The teen on trial cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act because he was 15 at the time Mohummad was fatally stabbed during a large, chaotic melee in the parking lot of 310 Limeridge Rd. W. He was previously reported as 17 at the time, but court recently clarified his date of birth.
Two other young men, both 17 at the time, were found guilty of manslaughter in a separate trial last year for organizing and participating in the July 19, 2020, ambush.
Court heard in both trials that Mohummad was fatally stabbed during the large ambush in the Hamilton Mountain parking lot after two sides met amid a conflict over perceived disrespect. On one side was Mohummad’s older brother, Hamza Chaudry, and the other, the two teens convicted of manslaughter. Chaudry said he called his friends as backup, but that he wanted to talk out the issue. Instead Chaudry and his friends, including Mohummad, were ambushed.
In the chaotic attack — part of which was captured on cellphone video from a nearby apartment balcony — several people were hurt, including Chaudry and another friend who were stabbed, but survived. No one saw what happened to Mohummad and his body wasn’t found until hours later behind an apartment at 11 Kendale Crt.
Assistant Crown attorney Alannah Grady argued that the teen, who lived in the Kendale apartment, was captured on surveillance video coming and going from the building before and after the attack and alleged that he is visible in the parking lot video chasing Mohummad toward where his body was later found. She pointed to other evidence as corroborating, including cellphone information and the fact that police found the same clothing he’s alleged to have worn that night in his apartment when he was arrested months later.
But the defence argues the video is not clear and that Crown has not proven the teen participated in the ambush.
“This case is first and foremost about identity,” defence lawyer Lauren Wilhelm said Monday at the end of her closing submissions, adding that her client should be acquitted of all charges.
But even if the court finds it is the teen captured in the parking lot video, then that’s manslaughter, not murder, because there is no evidence of intent, Wilhelm said. This includes no evidence of who fatally stabbed Mohummad, and no evidence that the person chasing him out of the parking lot knew the 19year-old was potentially fatally wounded.