Man con­victed of mur­der with a van af­ter los­ing a street fight

Toronto Star - - NEWS - BETSY POW­ELL COURTS BUREAU

A jury took just a few hours to con­vict Ayubullo Mo­ham­mad-Daud of first-de­gree mur­der for us­ing a stolen van as a weapon to strike and kill a man shortly af­ter the two clashed on a down­town Toronto street.

Steven Doyle, 27, died Aug. 15, 2016, af­ter Mo­ham­mad-Daud made good on his prom­ise to re­turn to Ge­orge St. a half-hour af­ter Doyle got the bet­ter of him in a brawl. Mo­ham­mad-Daud stole a van and drove there “to even the score, to re­tal­i­ate, to seek re­venge,” prose­cu­tor Karen Si­mone told the jury dur­ing her closing ar­gu­ments.

Ju­rors re­tired late Thurs­day af­ter­noon and re­turned with a ver­dict mid-Fri­day morn­ing that was met with re­lief in court by mem­bers of Doyle’s fam­ily. Mo­ham­mad-Daud re­ceived an au­to­matic life sen­tence with no pa­role el­i­gi­bil­ity for 25 years.

Dur­ing the trial, the jury did not see or hear some of the 23-year-old’s court­room an­tics, which in­cluded climb­ing un­der the coun­sel ta­ble, threat­en­ing to kill him­self, cry­ing and claim­ing he didn’t know where he was.

Si­mone told Su­pe­rior Court Jus­tice Ed Then the young man was “ma­lin­ger­ing” — that the whole act was a put-on.

His be­hav­iour forced a pause in the trial when the judge or­dered Mo­ham­mad-Daud be sent for a psy­chi­atric as- sess­ment. He was eval­u­ated by a doc­tor who found him men­tally fit to re­main on trial — a con­clu­sion reached by doc­tors in two pre­vi­ous eval­u­a­tions.

While his lawyer, Lois Pineau, con­ceded her client killed Steven Doyle, she said it was un­in­ten­tional and there­fore man­slaugh­ter, not mur­der. Mo­ham­mad-Daud tes­ti­fied he was not the kind of per­son who would de­lib­er­ately run over some­one.

That opened the door to Si­mone cros­sex­am­in­ing him about plead­ing guilty re­cently to dan­ger­ous op­er­a­tion of a mo­tor ve­hi­cle caus­ing bod­ily harm. In an agreed state­ment of facts shared with the jury, Mo­ham­mad-Daud ad­mit­ted he had de­lib­er­ately tried to run over two con­struc­tion work­ers while be­hind the wheel of a stolen car.

Mo­ham­mad-Daud is cur­rently serv­ing a six-year sen­tence in that case af­ter plead­ing guilty to driv­ing straight at the two men. De­spite this, Mo­ham­mad-Daud tes­ti­fied at his mur­der trial the two men “ac­ci­den­tally” jumped in front of his ve­hi­cle.

Dur­ing her closing ar­gu­ment, Si­mone urged ju­rors not to be fooled by his de­meanour and tes­ti­mony, dur­ing which he smirked, jumped around in his seat and re­peat­edly called Si­mone a liar.

“He knows ex­actly what he is do­ing ... just like he knew ex­actly what he was do­ing that day,” she said dur­ing her closing.

TORONTO PO­LICE SER­VICE

Ayubullo Mo­ham­mad-Daud, 23, left, had tes­ti­fied in court he “ac­ci­den­tally lost control” when he killed Steven Doyle, 27, with a van. The jury dis­agreed.

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