Four charged in 2014 murder of man in St. James Town
Published Friday, April 1, 2016 3:00PM EDT Last Updated Friday, April 1, 2016 7:27PM EDT
Four suspects have been charged with first-degree murder after a tattoo parlour owner was killed during a robbery at a Toronto Community Housing building in St. James Town in 2014.
The 47-year-old victim, Wasfi Ghalban, was found dead in his apartment on Wellesley Street near Bleecker Street on Dec. 3 after his friend reported him missing to police.
A cause of death was never released, but police said at the time that Ghalban had “significant signs of trauma.”
The case garnered much attention after security camera video released by police showed two persons of interest entering the victim’s apartment building a few nights before the murder.
Police confirmed that robbery was the motive for the attack.
“The evidence obviously has led us to these four individuals and they’ll be before the courts and certainly, at some point, we’ll have a trial and all of this will come out,” Det.-Sgt. Mike Carbone of the Toronto Police Homicide Unit told CTV Toronto.
Police could not confirm if the people in the security camera video are among those charged.
Police have arrested and charged Philip Frauts, 40, Kyle Schindermann, 31, Chistopher Fuller, 33, and Lance Burkhard, 33, with first-degree murder in connection with the case.
CTV Toronto has learned that the victim, Ghalban, employed Frauts at his tattoo shop near Yonge and Gerrard streets as a tattoo artist.
According to a source, who did not want to be identified, Ghalban continued to employ Frauts at his parlour despite being advised that Frauts was “a bit of a low life.”
Police told CTV Toronto that Ghalban also sold fake IDs and through both his legal and illegal businesses, had a couple hundred thousand dollars in savings.
The same source told CTV Toronto that after Ghalban went missing, Frauts showed up at the tattoo shop wearing a brand new Canada Goose jacket and said his girlfriend’s mother had given them a large amount of money.
Police could not confirm how the remaining three suspects are connected to the victim.
Investigators still want to speak with anyone who had contact with the victim prior to his death.
Those who have information can call the homicide squad directly at 416-808-7400 or can leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS (8477).