It appears that justice will be granted to fallen Toronto rapper, Smoke Dawg, four years after his murder. There is a jury that will play a part in the fate of suspected killer Abdulkadir Handule.
The rappers brand manager also lost his life the same time after being gunned down outside of a nightclub in their hometown, Toronto.
Toronto mainstream news outlet, The Star, reported that the prosecution and defense delivered their final remarks to jurors on Feb. 22nd. The trial started back in November but has seen numerous delays to the holidays and the pandemic. Though Handule never testified, his lawyer Dirk Derstine acknowledged that he was one of three shooters who opened fire outside the Cube nightclub in 2018. The prosecution argued that Handule targeted Smoke Dawg that night, but his lawyer denied this claim.
“It’s true Abdulkadir raced after him and was firing at him…probably intending him no good whatsoever and yes, indeed, he shot him on the ground when he was down there,” Derstine argued. “But, you’re not here, like Saint Peter at the pearly gates, to decide whether or not he’s a good human being. You’re here exclusively to decide whether he is legally guilty of the various different offenses.” Derstine believes that the shooting wasn’t targeted but rather a testosterone-driven argument. “These two young men said something stupid to each other, which precipitated something stupid and eventually tragic,” he said.
The jury was told first-degree murder was not a viable charge in the case, but Derstine argued that second-degree murder wasn’t a charge Handule was guilty of either. His lawyer also stated that there was no way to prove that bullets from Handule’s gun were what killed either victim.
The defense also argued that Smoke Dawg was taunting Handule prior to the shooting and fired the first shots. The prosecution recognized this claim but prosecutor Anna Tenhouse showed CCTV footage that Handule and his friends were not only plotting violence but instigating the violence.
Abdulkadir Handule also known in rap circles as 21 Neat, was found guilty by a jury in Ontario Superior Court Thursday.
In a statement to CBC News, Handule’s lawyer Dirk Derstine said Handule and his family are “deeply disappointed in the verdict,” adding Handule has asked him to begin the appeal process.