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Three men found guilty of first-degree in 'Pizza Pizza' murder of Jarryl Hagley
Three men accused of in the death of 17-year-old Jarryl Hagley have been found guilty of first-degree murder.
Hagley was shot dead at a Pizza Pizza on Weston Road on Oct. 16, 2016.
Mohamed Ali Nur, now 21, along with 25-year-old twin brothers Shakiyl Shaw and Lenneil Shaw, were found guilty in a Toronto courtroom on Thursday morning. The charge carries an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years. A jury deliberated for just over a day before returning with a verdict.
It was in the early hours of the morning when the men burst into the restaurant and opened fire on Hagley and his friends who were dining inside.
Hagley was shot multiple times but was able to make his way to a washroom, where he collapsed. He suffered "catastrophic injuries," the Crown said, and died there.
Police previously described the shooting as “planned and deliberate,” but a motive for the attack remains unknown.
Hagley’s mother, Delma, said she’s haunted by the question of “why?”
“Why God, why did you take him away from us? Why did you take such a precious child,” she said outside the courtroom after the judge gave his verdict.
“They didn’t just kill my son, they killed an entire family.”
The men escaped the scene in an SUV, which was later identified through video surveillance taken from different locations in the neighbourhood.
The jury viewed security video that showed three people entering the restaurant and then running from the area a short time later, some of them holding firearms.
Initially, four suspects were charged in the teen's murder. The charge against the fourth suspect, identified as Winston Poyser, was later resolved and he served time for being an accessory. Poyser became the Crown's key witness in the case.
He testified in court that a still photo taken from the security camera footage showed the three men there with him that night. He was also visible in the video.
During the trial, defence lawyers tried to discount Poyser’s credibility and suggested the 24-year-old was only acting on a good deal offered by police.
Sharon Shaw, the mother of Shakiyl and Lenneil, accused Poyser of lying during his testimony. She said police found no evidence -- “no fingerprints, no clothes, no bullets, no shells” -- when they searched the family home.
Shaw insists that the twins are innocent. She said she doesn’t believe that the men in the video, as identified by Poyser in court, are her sons.
“No it’s not,” she said through tears, pausing briefly to sob.
“Every mother knows her child. Every mother knows her child no matter what.”
She asserted that the “real killer” is still out there and said that the family intends on filing an appeal.
“I love my boys… I love them so much. I believe them when they said they are innocent,” she said.
“The jury was not allowed to hear where they found the gun... The unfairness of this justice system.”
Lead investigator Det. Jason Shankaran acknowledged that neither of the guns were found at the Shaw residence, but said the case did not rest on Poyser’s testimony alone.
“I’ve seen many witnesses testify and no witness is perfect, but I believe Winston Poyser was telling the truth,” he said outside the courthouse.
“It wasn’t just a single witness coming forward and pointing the finger, but a case where multiple points were also introduced by the Crown, I think, to an effective purpose.”
Shankaran said he believes the jury made the right decision. He went on to commend the Hagley family for their strength during the three-year investigation and subsequent six-week trial.
“There’s a certain degree of poise and appreciation amongst the entire Hagley family, but Delma in particular,” he said.
“The apple never falls far from the tree and certainly Jerryl had the qualities of his mom. Considering all that, I think today is a very good day for Delma and a good day for the Toronto police homicide squad.”
Delma, however, doesn’t see it quite that way.
Instead of relishing in what could be seen as a victory, she recognized the pain of another grieving mother, Sharon Shaw.
“I still look at it as a mother seeing three young men going to sit behind bars for such a long time. Nothing you do can bring my son back to life, but at the end of the day, they’re still sitting behind bars and their life is somewhat going to waste,” she said.
“It’s not something to rejoice over. I just pray that God will touch their hearts and touch the hearts of their mom, touch the hearts of their siblings and bring this new rejuvenation into their lives.”