Pair get 10, 6 years in prison for fatal shooting
Two Toronto men have been sentenced to 10 and six years in prison respectively in the fatal shooting of a North York car dealer in 2005.
Danny Fatulahzadeh-Rabti, 25, was shot and killed outside his workplace in December 2005 after being confronted by Marcel Blackburn and Jodie Wheatle, both 22.
Blackburn pleaded guilty on Wednesday to manslaughter, while Wheatle, a rising basketball star, pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact to manslaughter.
Both men had been charged with second-degree murder, but a judge accepted pleas to the lesser charges and a joint sentencing submission from the Crown and defence.
Justice John McMahon said it would have been difficult to prove the murder charges because witnesses couldn't identify the shooter. The judge also raised the issue of provocation.
Court heard Blackburn and Wheatle went to the auto leasing business in December 2005 demanding to know why a Mercedes SUV Wheatle had been leasing was being repossessed.
There was a fight with employees inside that continued in the parking lot. Fatulahzadeh-Rabti was shot and killed when he approached Wheatle and Blackburn's car with a tire iron, court heard.
After the men were arrested, it was revealed Wheatle was out on bail at the time of the slaying after being caught with a loaded handgun. He had been involved in a scuffle with police inside Yorkdale Mall weeks earlier, court heard.
The situation triggered anger from Futulahzadeh-Rabti's family and some politicians, who said the bail system was too lenient on those charged with firearms offences.
Wheatle, a star point guard who was actively being recruited by division 1 NCAA schools and was part of the Toronto Raptors development program, also pleaded guilty on Wednesday to a firearms charge and breaching two bail orders.
With files from CTV Toronto's Chris Eby