Hells Angels debt collector eliminated in elaborate plot orchestrated by four assassins, prosecutor recounts murder trial
Crown alleges four men on trial for first degree murder formed a quartet of assassins who played various roles in an elaborate plot to kill a Hells Angels debt collector in Mississauga in March 2019, the Brampton jury learned Friday.
In his closing remarks to the jury, prosecutor Brian McGuire argued that the four men âacted as a team. They had a goal: it was murder, âby Michael Deabaitua-Schulde, 32, of Mississauga, who was gunned down shortly after 11 a.m., moments after stepping out of a gymnasium in a busy square in Mississauga March 11, 2019.
The men were unaware that Deabaitua-Schulde was under police surveillance as part of an OPP investigation into his alleged involvement in an alleged elaborate illegal gambling operation. Deabaitua-Schulde was observed by police collecting and delivering packages to numerous people during the undercover operation, known as Project Hobart, the jury heard.
“It was not a robbery or a botched collection, but a planned and deliberate murder,” said McGuire, who added that the murder had the hallmarks of a gangland-type murder. “These men were supposed to be nowhere to be found.”
On the day of his murder, OPP investigators followed the rider to Huf Gym in Mississauga, where he did routine training. Police saw the biker running towards the gymnasium after being shot.
The Crown alleges that the two main shooters were Marckens Vilme and Brandon Reyes, Joseph Pallotta and Marc Issa El-Khoury serving as escape drivers at two separate locations. All four are charged with first degree murder.
âBoth shooters had to ensure numerical superiority on their single target,â said McGuire, who added that Pallotta had led his co-accused to the scene of the murder, Huf Gym to the busy plaza of 700 Dundas St. E., near by Cawthra. Road, where Deabaitua-Schulde was filmed leaving after training.
“The silver revolver which we believe was used by Mr. Reyes has six empty cartridges in the cylinder,” McGuire said.
Deabaitua-Schulde, 32, a known member of the Niagara Region Hells Angels branch, was shot six times at close range, while standing next to his vehicle, then running to the gym to ask for help after being approached by several people wearing dark clothing. clothes outside the gym.
“Call 911!” the bloodied motorcycle gang member is heard pleading as he is seen on video running around the gym, as his pursuers fire another shot into the facility.
The killers used an untraceable blue Honda Civic whose license plates had been stolen days earlier, McGuire said in explaining how the plot was carried out. Police found phone messages referring to where the Honda with stolen license plates was left in Scarborough. The Crown alleges that Pallotta, who is filmed filling a gas can, set the Honda on fire after the murder.
Issa El-Khoury, driving a Hyundai Sante Fe, waited for the men at the meeting point on Rymal Road, Mississauga, in an attempt to chase them away after setting the car on fire, McGuire said. The men had originally traveled to Deabaitua-Schulde’s home in Mississauga to locate him, but he had already left for the gym.
The OPP surveillance team also spotted the Sante Fe on the morning of March 11, when it first visited the vicinity of Deabaitua-Schulde’s home in the Rymal Road area.
“They got caught because of two bad luck which tripped them up,” said McGuire, who added that the Hells Angels are sometimes targeted by their underground rivals, although the Crown is unable to determine who wanted. the death of Deabaitua-Schulde.
McGuire said the cars were linked to the murder when an OPP surveillance officer took a photo of Sante Fe license plates, after following the men in the Honda to the second meeting point on Rymal Road, a two minute drive to the shooting. scene.
Police found a burnt-out blue Honda Civic near Rymal Road and Tomken Road. Witnesses said the suspects fled the scene of the shooting in a Honda.
He said that Issa El-Khoury, while making sure the men escaped into the Sante Fe, escaped a trolling officer back to Toronto.
Police were able to link the men to the vehicles because two Peel police officers on patrol, by chance, decided to check the Quebec plates of the Sante Fe while it was parked in the parking lot of a Motel 6 in Brampton on the morning of murder.
McGuire said the four men were inside the motel finalizing the execution at the time.
“Bad luck!” McGuire said. “With these two pieces of information, the police were quickly able to locate Motel 6 as the starting point of the plan.”
Using videos of the men from Motel 6 and forensic evidence, “the four plotters were quickly arrested,” McGuire said.
McGuire said the plot began long before the shooting. The plaques were stolen in Scarborough on February 26. On the same day, a tracking device, placed on the Deabaitua-Schulde Jeep, began recording the location of the target. The device was manually checked at least 140 times from February 26 to the morning of March 11, the Crown said.
“It is clear that Mr. Deabaitua-Schulde was being followed,” said McGuire. Pallotta checked in at Motel 6 under a false name on March 7. “Now the conspirators just have to wait until he’s alone and vulnerable, and shoot him to death.”
Defense teams for Vilme and Reyes, who were 28 and 24 respectively at the time of the shooting, say the Crown failed to prove the charge of first degree murder. The two men were arrested by Montreal police a few days after the murder.
Lawyers for Pallotta, then 38, and Issa El-Khoury, then 26, also from Montreal, also argued that the Crown had failed to prove the charge against the two.
Vilme’s lawyer argued that he fired only one shot in the direction of the gymnasium. Pallotta’s attorney told the jury that his client set the Honda on fire and served as a driver but was not a gunman. Issa El-Khoury’s lawyer claimed he was fair to Vilme when the shooting took place.
Reyes’ defense team say he is only an afterthought because he helped Pallotta leave the city of Toronto, by purchasing a VIA train ticket.
The judge will give his final instructions to the jury next week.