Toronto

Former GTA rapper handed life sentence for 2013 Rexdale community centre slaying

Jermaine Dunkley, 34, was convicted of first-degree murder for his role in the November 2013 shooting death of Neeko Mitchell outside the Kipling Community Centre.

Jermaine Dunkley, 34, will not be eligible for parole for 25 years

Jermaine Dunkley, who police say was the one-time leader of Rexdale street gang Monstarz, was given a life sentence for his role in the 2013 shooting death of a man outside a community centre. (J Noble/Facebook)

A former GTA rapper with alleged ties to gang activity was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday for his role in the fatal shooting of a man outside a Rexdale community centre years ago. 

Jermaine Dunkley, 34, will have no chance of parole for at least 25 years.

A jury of peers convicted him of first-degree murder for the slaying of Neeko Mitchell, 25, steps away from the Kipling Community Centre in November 2013. A Superior Court judge sentenced him just minutes later. 

Dunkley's co-accused in the fatal shooting, Sheldon Tingle, was acquitted by the same jury and left the courtroom a free man. Tingle's lawyer, Scott Reid, said he and his co-counsel are "very pleased and relieved with the verdict for our client."

Reid maintained that Tingle's primary connection to Dunkley was that they appeared together in a number of the latter's music videos. Police believe that Dunkley, who rapped under the name J Noble, was the one-time leader of a Rexdale street gang called Monstarz. 

In July 2013, his younger brother, Ricky Dunkley, was shot and killed at a Brampton banquet hall where Mitchell was working as a DJ. Investigators said after Mitchell's death months later that it may have been a revenge killing ordered by the elder Dunkley brother. 

Neeko Mitchell, 25, was shot eight times at close range. (Toronto Police Service)

Mitchell was shot eight times outside the community centre, where a basketball tournament was being played inside. The entire episode was captured on surveillance video. 

The court heard during trial that Dunkley was not the triggerman in the shooting. The shooter, Reshane Hayles-Wilson, was convicted of second-degree murder for the slaying earlier this year, and was given a life sentence in July. He will not be eligible for parole for at least 15 years. 

Dunkley's lawyer, Jeff Hershberg, said in a text message to CBC Toronto that he believes the evidence used to build against his client was flawed.

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