After 34 days and 38 witnesses, after nearly 16 hours of deliberations, the verdict is in.
Drai O’Hara-Salmon, 22, and Jermaine Phillips, 20, both face life in prison without possibility of parole for 25 years. They have been found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Said Hadbai. Phillips has also been found guilty of possession of a loaded prohibited firearm, and will serve a concurrent five year sentence.
The defence had argued that Hadbai had a knife as he prepared to engage in a fistfight with O’Hara-Salmon in the morning hours of December 27, 2011, and fearing for his friend’s safety, Phillips fired a single shot from a sawed-off shotgun into Hadbai’s chest.
Crown Attorney Peter Rollings called the defence’s argument a complete fabrication, and the jury sided with the crown.
A text message was sent to Phillips to “Bring the thing. K.P. is here,” which Rollings says was an indication to Phillips to retrieve his gun and meet O’Hara-Salmon at the bar. The girlfriend of Phillips testified she saw him remove the gun from a duffle bag. The jury found that the two had planned and executed a deliberate act of murder, and will now pay for their act.