3rd suspect in New Year's Day murders pleads not guilty

Real Honorio, the third man accused in a 2009 New Year's Day triple slaying at a Calgary restaurant, pleaded not guilty in court Monday despite a video confession made to undercover police.

Real Honorio claims he is innocent despite a video confession made to undercover police

The trial of Real Honorio, a suspect in the 2009 New Year's Day triple murder at a Calgary restaurant, started Monday. (CBC)

The trial of a third man accused in a 2009 New Year's Day triple slaying at a Calgary restaurant is now underway.

Real Honorio, 28, is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Sanjeev Mann, Aaron Bendle and Keni Su'a at Bolsa Vietnamese Restaurant in the city’s southeast.

He pleaded not guilty in a Calgary courtroom Monday.

Mann, 22, a known gang member and Bendle, 21, an associate, were targeted in the attack.

Su’a, a 43-year-old construction worker, was eating in the restaurant and tried to escape, but was beaten and gunned down in the parking lot.

Honorio is accused of acting alongside Michael Roberto and Nathan Zuccherato in the killings. Crown prosecutor Susan Karpa said in court Monday the plan is to prove Honorio is one of the masked gunmen that entered the Bolsa restaurant on that New Year's Day.

Three people were gunned down at the Bolsa Vietnamese Restaurant in 2009, including innocent bystander Keni Su'a. ((CBC) )

Crown to present video confession

She said evidence includes a video taken just two months after the shooting where Honorio confesses to two men he believed were members of a major crime organization that he was looking to be a part of.

"The accused admitted to being one of the masked gunmen inside the Bolsa restaurant.... What the accused did not know was Rey and the crime boss were police officers ... in an undercover operation that had targeted the accused," she said.

Roberto and Zuccherato were each found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder last fall. Both men were handed life sentences of 25 years without parole.

In the Roberto and Zuccherato trial, court heard the killings were part of an escalating, violent feud between two rival gangs — Fresh Off the Boat (FOB) and FOB Killers (FK).

Honorio’s trial is before a judge and jury in the Court of Queen’s Bench, and is expected to last five weeks.