Galloway Boys convicted in 2004 shooting death
Three members of a feared Toronto street gang kicked out their frustration on their way into court and then really started screaming when a jury pronounced them guilty of first-degree murder.
Tyshaun Riley, Philip Atkins and Jason Wisdom -- members of the notorious Galloway Boys, an east-end gang named for their 'hood at Galloway Road and Kingston Road -- could be heard kicking the sides of the armour-plated court services truck bringing them to court on Wednesday morning.
They were also found guilty of attempted murder and participating in a criminal organization in connection with the shooting of two people in March 2004 in Toronto's Malvern neighbourhood.
The three did not react well to this news.
They started banging loudly on the door of the prisoner's box and yelling at the judge when the jury pronounced them guilty while family members began screaming and crying.
"I didn't kill anybody," Riley -- the purported leader -- shouted over and over again. The other two accused the judge of bias.
The judge ordered the men out of the courtroom when the hysteria broke out.
"It was a scene of pandemonium inside the courtroom," said CTV Toronto's Chris Eby who was in court when the verdict was read out.
Outside the courtroom, Wisdom's mother collapsed to the sidewalk in hysterics, screaming, "Oh my God." She had testified for the defence, providing an alibi for her son.
For Valda Williams, "Justice was served," she told reporters through tears.
She is the mother of murder victim Brenton Charlton.
The case stems from a daylight shooting at the intersection of Finch Avenue and Neilsen Road.
Two men were sitting in their car at the intersection waiting for the light to turn green when they were shot. The car had been stopped in front of a busy bus shelter at the time.
Charlton, 31, died of his wounds. Leonard Bell, who was 43 at the time, survived but suffered critical injuries.
Bell testified during the trial but told the jury he could not identify who shot him.
Williams said she feels an "enormous relief" because of the verdict. She also said she forgives the three men for killing her son.
"For the most part, the people that were shot and wounded or shot and killed by these people were completely innocent victims," Det. Dean Burke, the lead investigator, told reporters.
The three accused were in Scarborough on a mission to track down a member of rival gang, the Malvern Crew, hoping to exact retribution for the 2002 murder of a G-Way leader, the Crown argued.
"In my view, these were leading members of the G-Way gang," said Crown prosecutor Suhail Ahktar.
The murder trial is said to be one of the most expensive street gang prosecutions in Canadian history. It is the result of a Toronto police operation titled "Project Pathfinder." The investigation lasted years and two new courtrooms had to be built to meet the security requirements of the case.
Police in paramilitary gear escorted the defendants.
"It was a unique case in many ways, not least of all because the Crown relied on a former gang member (Roland Ellis) to lay bare many the secrets of the gang that was operating in Galloway," Ahktar said.
A first-degree murder conviction carries an automatic life sentence with no possibility of parole for 25 years. They will be sentenced on the other charges later this month.
Williams said she had some sympathy for the mothers of the newly convicted men.
"No mother want to see their child die and no mother wants to see her children in jail," she said.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Chris Eby