Man sentenced to 12 years for violent Arax Jewellers robbery
As soon as the four-door Audi pulled into the rear parking lot of Arax Jewellers, Mark Garfield Moore jumped out.
It was 5:48 p.m. on August 9, 2010.
Moore's face, deformed by an AK-47 assault rifle nine years earlier, was masked by a balaclava. He was carrying a loaded handgun. And he was about to use it.
Moore, now 30, was sentenced to 12 years Wednesday for the violent Toronto robbery. Because of credit for time served since his arrest, Moore has less than eight-and-a-half years left to serve.
The goldsmith had been taking a break, having a cigarette against the door. As Moore ran toward him, the Goldsmith tried to shut the door to keep Moore and accomplice Kevin Williams, who had jumped out from the front passenger seat of the car, out. That's when Moore fired the shot.
The bullet ricocheted off the door, went through the goldsmith's arm and lodged in his leg. Moore followed the wounded man inside, dragging another employee along with him.
In the three minutes and 16 seconds Moore and Williams, both aspiring rappers, were in the store, they scooped up more than 200 pieces of jewelry worth about $500,000.
"At no point in the robbery did either of them exhibit the slightest interest in or concern about the condition" of the man Moore had just shot, Justice Ian MacDonnell noted in handing down Moore's sentence Wednesday.
That man survived, but suffers psychological trauma to this day. His co-worker, while not shot, suffers even more significant trauma, the judge noted.
"I no longer have patience with my co-workers," the jeweller noted in his victim impact statement. "I'm always on edge. I suffer from post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and it is still to this day very difficult to come to work without thinking about that day...I have lost all confidence in people and worry that anyone can be a possible threat to me and the store."
The robbery trial was not Moore's first run-in with the law, nor will it mark his last time in court.
Moore is also accused in other shootings across Toronto, including four murders. He is expected to be tried on those charges in early 2015.
Though he has not yet been tried in the other shootings, the judge in his robbery trial said Wednesday he was convinced Moore was involved in at least one: The attempted murder of a man four days before the jewelry store heist.
"There is no dispute that the gun that was used to shoot (the attempted murder victim) was the same gun that was used" in the robbery, MacDonnell noted.
The shooting victim from August 5, 2010 testified during the robbery trial that one of his friends had gotten into a fist fight with Moore's younger brother. A few hours later, court heard, a car pulled out and "the driver, whom he recognized as Mr. Moore, jumped out, yelled 'What happened to my brother?' and immediately began shooting."
While Moore has not been found guilty of that crime, MacDonnell said, "I am satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Moore was the person who shot [the victim]”.
Regarding Moore's prospects for rehabilitation, MacDonnell said, "There is not much of a positive nature to be said in that respect...Indeed, there was evidence at trial, which was relied upon by the defence to explain his purchase of a BMW X5 shortly after the Arax robbery, that Mr. Moore earned his living as a drug dealer and perhaps a fence for stolen goods."
Through his lawyer, Cheryl Robb, Moore blamed his criminal lifestyle on his upbringing in Toronto neighbourhood Lawrence Heights, the friends he kept and his own victimization in 2001.
Moore was 17 when someone shot him four times with an AK-47 assault rifle.
But he had been getting into trouble long before he was shot, MacDonnell noted.
In the years that followed, Moore mounted more than a dozen convictions for crimes including disobeying court orders, assault, drug crimes and gun crimes.
"It appears that he has been ascending into a higher stratum of dangerousness. Further, his demonstrated indifference to court orders shows him to be impervious to efforts to induce him to alter his established criminal lifestyle," MacDonnell said.
While Moore was sentenced to 12 years in prison -- and has less than nine years left to serve because of pre-trial custody -- his accomplice Kevin Williams was sentenced Monday to 10 years and will be out in a little more than two years.
Williams, too, got credit for pre-sentence custody, but he got added credit for being a Crown witness. He is expected to testify against Moore when Moore's murder charges are tried next year.
In addition to the murders and non-fatal shootings, Moore is now also accused of a vicious jailhouse beating.