Conviction for man accused in 'Galloway Boyz' gang shooting overturned by court
Chris Herhalt, CTV News Toronto
Published Friday, August 11, 2017 3:51PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 11, 2017 6:53PM EDT
An Appeal Court has overturned the conviction and ordered a new trial for a man accused in a drive-by gang shooting that left one man dead and another man seriously injured in the Malvern area of Scarborough in 2004.
Jason Wisdom was one of three men convicted of murder in the fatal shooting of 31-year-old Brenton Charlton on March 3, 2004. Another man, 43-year-old Leonard Bell, was struck by bullets but survived.
Wisdom and two other men, Tyshan Riley and Philip Atkins, were convicted of first-degree murder, attempted murder, and committing offences on behalf of a criminal organization, known as the “Galloway Boyz” street gang in 2009.
Wisdom was 23-years-old at the time he was convicted.
Police later found that Charlton and Bell were shot because the car they were sitting in greatly resembled another vehicle driven by a known figure in the Malvern crew, a rival gang the “Galloway Boyz” had “beef” with.
Lawyers for the trio argued the original trial judge made a number of errors regarding admissibility of character evidence, management of the jury selection process, and admissibility of physical and ballistic evidence that violated several of the accused’s rights.
Justices H.S. LaForme, David Watt and G.T. Trotter dismissed all of those errors concerning the convictions of Atkins and Riley.
But in the original trial, the judge admitted as character evidence an unrelated criminal complaint against Wisdom, related to his alleged involvement in an attempted theft from a Money Mart in Pickering that occurred four months after the fatal shooting.
The judges found the theft evidence “had extremely low probative value but a significant prejudicial effect” on Wisdom’s ability to get a fair trial.
“It is not possible to conclude the admission of that evidence did not result in a miscarriage of justice. Consequently, a new trial must be ordered for Wisdom.”