Toronto

Woman faces murder charge in Toronto panhandling slaying

Police have upgraded the charge against one of four people accused in the stabbing death of a St. Catharines man in Toronto to second-degree murder.

Police have upgraded the charge against one of four people accused in the stabbing death of a St. Catharines man in Toronto tosecond-degree murder.

The two women and two men were initially charged with aggravated assault in the death of Ross Hammond, who died early Saturday.

Hammond, 32,wasstabbed multipletimesearly last Thursdaywhen he and his friend got involved ina heated exchange with four people on Queen Street near Niagara Street after being approached for money, police said.

Nicole Kish, 21, of Toronto, is already in custody andwill appear in a Toronto court Thursday to be arraigned on the new charge, Toronto police Det.-Sgt. Gary Giroux said.

"Itescalated very quickly to physical confrontation, and I'm alleging thatMs. Kish participated in thestabbing of Mr. Hammond to the point where he is now deceased,"Girouxtold reporters Thursday.

Thefreshcharge came on the same day Hammond's funeral was to be held in St. Catharines.

Giroux would not comment on whether additional charges will be laid against the others charged in the case — Jeremy Woolley, Douglas Fresh and Sarah McDermit, who, according topolice,is also known as Faith Watts.

Policehave alleged Woolley, Fresh and McDermit entered Canada illegally from the U.S., where at least one of themis wanted on an outstanding warrant.

The three have been remandedto custodyand are next scheduled to appear incourt on Aug. 28.

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