Nova Scotia

Kale Leonard Gabriel convicted of murdering Ryan White in 2010

Kale Leonard Gabriel has been found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Ryan White.

Gabriel gets automatic life sentence for fatal shooting in Halifax's north end

Halifax police investigate the area where Ryan White died in this 2010 photo. (CBC)

A Halifax jury has found Kale Leonard Gabriel guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Ryan White.

Members of White's family, who have been in Nova Scotia Supreme Court throughout the two-week trial, gasped and hugged one another when the verdict was delivered Thursday. Gabriel showed no emotion.

Ryan White died in 2010. (

White, 21, was shot dead in Halifax's Mulgrave Park in 2010. Gabriel faces an automatic life sentence for the murder, and a judge will determine when he is eligible to apply for parole. 

Gabriel, 27, was the last witness to testify at his trial. He told court he and White were struggling for control of a gun when it went off.

The Crown had argued Gabriel had had enough of White and went out that night with a gun to confront him. The Crown said Gabriel had control of the gun when it went off.

"[The jury] certainly didn't buy that it was an accident and they didn't buy that it was fully self-defence," Crown prosecutor Rick Woodburn said moments after the verdict.

"He may have been scared of Ryan White, but not enough to invoke self-defence."

The bullet struck White in the chest; he died later in hospital. Gabriel denied pulling the trigger and the gun was never recovered.

'Code of silence'

It took years before police got a break in the case, in large part because people who witnessed the shooting refused to talk.

"There's an element of code of silence with regards to crimes like this," Woodburn said.

"The community feels that by staying silent, they're creating their own sort of justice. But that doesn't work in our community."

Two people eventually testified about what they saw. One of them, Randall Samson, has applied for a reward under the province's major unsolved crimes program. The program offers rewards of up to $150,000 for information and testimony leading to a conviction.

The province will only consider a reward for Samson once the appeal period for Gabriel's conviction has elapsed. If successful, Samson would be the second person to receive a reward under the provincial program.

"The reward program certainly gets people thinking and it also starts the conversation: Should we come forward? For what reasons should we come forward?  Is it the right thing to do?," Woodburn said.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Account Holder

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?