The Hamilton Spectator

‘Bruised ego, blind vengeance, retributio­n’

Crown offers motive, defence highlights ‘unreliable’ testimony from witnesses in Douse trial


“Retributio­n: Punishment inflicted on someone as vengeance for a wrong. Oxford English Dictionary.”

The message, in white letters set against black, appeared on a phalanx of video screens that silently greeted jurors as they entered Courtroom 600 on Tuesday morning, moments from hearing final arguments in the first-degree murder trial of Daniel Wise and Alieu Jeng.

It was the theme with which Crown attorney Brian Adsett began his closing remarks, accompanie­d by slides and videos, as the trial entered its fourth week at John Sopinka Courthouse.

For the first time, Adsett stood at a lectern facing the 11-member jury.

“This case is about retributio­n, it is about punishment that was inflicted on Carel Douse, or ‘Blackz,’ ” he said, referencin­g the 33-year-old victim’s nickname.

“Blackz was senselessl­y killed over a bruised ego, blind vengeance and a desire for retributio­n.”

Douse was repeatedly stabbed just after 3 a.m. on May 18, 2019. He was pronounced dead later that day in Hamilton General Hospital, having suffered massive internal bleeding from his injuries, including a knife wound to his abdominal aorta.

The Crown’s close highlighte­d evidence identifyin­g Wise and Jeng as Douse’s killers, and that it was “a planned and deliberate murder,” executed as payback on Douse for “a perceived wrong.”

Adsett said Douse and Wise had been friendly, until the “relationsh­ip cooled” and the pair kept their distance, avoiding each other at clubs. Wise, he said, told a friend that Douse had been calling him a “rat.”

The animosity boiled over into a fight just over two weeks before Douse was killed, outside a nightclub called Modrn. Adsett said Douse left Jeng, a friend of Wise’s, bloodied in the fight, and that Jeng “vowed to get (Douse) back.”

“That’s what Blackz was killed over.”

In a 60-minute close, Adsett attempted to anticipate defence arguments — for example, that a taxi driver noted in testimony that he saw no blood on Wise, Jeng, or Samatar Hassan when he picked up the trio soon after Douse was attacked. (Hassan previously entered a guilty plea for manslaught­er in Douse’s death.)

“(Douse) was bleeding internally, it made no sense that they would be covered in blood,” said Adsett.

The Crown also made light of a theme defence lawyers emphasized in the trial, that a 3.5-centimetre “rusted … toy knife” found in the dirt, next to a front porch where Douse lay wounded, was the murder weapon.

A murder weapon was never entered as evidence in the trial, but the Crown suggested Jeng was carrying a shoulder bag containing a large knife. Adsett played a convenienc­e store security video, in which Jeng appears to show Hassan an item inside the bag.

Jeng’s lawyer, Adele Monaco, offered closing remarks lasting more than three hours.

She suggested that jurors should consider at least two key Crown witnesses “unreliable” in their testimony, highlighti­ng contradict­ions between statements given to police shortly after the homicide, and the preliminar­y hearing that followed.

She turned her fire on Douse’s cousin, Janai, who Monaco suggested lied in her testimony, that had included details about the severity of the “altercatio­n” outside Modrn nightclub leading up to the alleged murder.

“Somebody is not telling the truth, and I submit to you that it is Janai Douse,” said Monaco. “Why did the Crown rely on her evidence? Because that’s motive.”

Wise’s lawyer, Tyler Smith, will address the jury Wednesday.

 ?? COURT EXHIBIT ?? Photo of a knife found in the dirt near the porch of house where Carel Douse’s wounded body lay.
COURT EXHIBIT Photo of a knife found in the dirt near the porch of house where Carel Douse’s wounded body lay.

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