Crown prosecutor Shane Parker told a Calgary courtroom Thursday in his closing remarks that key witness M.M. wasn’t perfect but his version of events from a triple homicide on New Year’s Day in 2009 should be taken as fact.
He said testimony from M.M., who cannot be named because of a court order, tightly matched other independent evidence of ballistics, names, clothing description and cellphone use in the Crown’s case against Nathan Zuccherato and Michael Roberto.
The pair is accused of three counts of first degree murder in the shooting deaths of Sanjeev Mann, Aaron Bendle and innocent bystander Keni Su’a in an alleged rival gang revenge plot at the Bolsa Restaurant in southeast Calgary.
"Logic tells us M.M. could not have this much independent detail if he made it all up," said Parker. "If you accept this scene as an execution you must believe M.M."
But Zuccherato's lawyer Alain Hepner told the jury in his closing response that "at best, you may be suspicious. At best, you may say probably. But that doesn't cut it."
M.M. had previously testified that Bendle was kidnapped on New Year’s Eve and forced to text his associate Mann, a gang member who was allegedly the target of the shooting, to meet him at the restaurant.
Also known as the "fifth man," M.M. admitted he was involved in planning and kidnapping, as well as standing guard during the murders.
Parker told the court that phone records and M.M.’s testimony show calls made by Zuccherato were "pinging" off the same cell towers as Bendle’s during the time he was kidnapped and on the morning of the murders.
M.M. later testified that both defendants entered the restaurant carrying guns to avenge the life of their fellow gang member Roger Chin. The two gangs – Fresh Off the Boat (FOB) and FOB Killers – were caught up in an escalating gang war.
While M.M. was arrested for his connection to the incident, no charges were laid against the police informant and he has been given immunity from prosecution for his testimony.
The jury is expected to be sequestered Monday.