Man guilty of murder in Leslieville bar shooting

A Toronto jury has found Kyle Weese, 27, guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of an innocent bystander outside a Toronto tavern two years ago.
Toronto police issued a Canada-wide warrant for Kyle Weese in 2008 after the fatal shooting outside an east-end bar. He turned himself in two days later. ((Toronto Police Services))

A 27-year-old man has been found guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of an innocent bystander outside a Toronto bar two years ago.

The jury at the trial of Kyle Weese delivered its verdict Monday afternoon in Ontario Superior Court in Toronto.

Weese was accused of firing a hail of bullets that killed 23-year-old Bailey Zaveda and injured four others, including his brother, outside the Duke of York Tavern on Oct. 25, 2008.

Defence lawyers acknowledged the killing was senseless and vicious, but they argued that there was no forensic evidence proving Weese pulled the trigger and that the testimony of four witnesses to the shooting was inconsistent. Weese took the stand in his own defence, repeated stating, "I didn't do the shooting."

Bar fight turned fatal

The fateful incident began inside the Queen Street East watering hole, in the city's Leslieville neighbourhood, in the early hours of a chilly, rain-soaked Saturday morning.

Bailey Zaveda had recently moved to Toronto to take up a job when she was gunned down in a hail of stray bullets. ((Toronto Police Services))

Weese got into a fight with a man who touched his girlfriend's arm. He was kicked out of the bar, and the man followed him outside. 

Someone then passed Weese a Luger nine-millimetre handgun, prosecutors told the court during his trial, and he fired off all 13 rounds, striking Zaveda six times as well as two other women and two men. One of the men was his own brother; the other was the uncle of the man Weese was arguing with.

Zaveda, who had recently moved to Toronto from Brockville, Ont., for a job, died at the scene. Weese escaped, only to turn himself in to police three days later after they issued a Canada-wide arrest warrant for him.

The killing was likened to the case of Jane Creba, a teenager who was gunned down near the major intersection of Yonge and Dundas streets on Boxing Day in 2005. Creba, 15, was struck by a stray bullet as she and her sister were shopping. Six other people on the street were wounded in the crossfire between rival gangs.

Weese was also found guilty Monday of four counts of aggravated assault for wounding the four surviving shooting victims.