Welcome to my Crime and Justice blog! I am a 19 year old criminal justice student at the University of Winnipeg. I advocate for prisoners' rights, human rights, equality and criminal justice/prison system reforms.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Jeffrey Cansanay Trial April 8, 2010

This morning, I attended the Jeffrey Cansanay second degree murder trial. Cansanay has pleaded not guilty to second degree murder and 3 counts of attempted murder in the injuries and death of two innocent bystanders. 

Constable DeGrout was testifying this morning regarding the police statement of Cory Amyotte, who was a gang member who was the intended victim of the shooting, but managed to escape with his fellow gang member, Gharib Abdullah, also another target. Amyotte told the police that he had been bike riding with Gharib near Cansanay's (rival gang member) crack house (which was in the "turf" of Gharbi and Amyotte). The constable testified about what Amyotte told him. Amyotte said that Jeffrey started shooting and was with another man, Corey Spence, who didn't have a gun. He agreed to be interviewed on a video statement but refused to identify the individuals involved (Cansanay and Spence) on video, for fear that he was placing himself and his family at risk of being victimized by that gang. Immediately after Jeff started shooting, Gharib and Amyotte took off on their bikes but heard more shots coming from behind them. 

Amyotte was shown two separate photo packs. One of them had Corey Spence's picture in it and the other had Jeff Cansanay's picture in it. Amyotte picked out Spence's photo, saying that he had seen him at the shooting but that he didn't have a gun. He also selected Cansanay's picture, saying that he was also at the shooting and he had a gun and was "holding it like a sniper."

Constable DeGrout said that during the interview, he never mentioned who the suspects in this homicide investigation were and did not indicate who the shooter(s) were/was in any way. He also did not offer Amyotte any benefits or rewards for testifying. It was completely voluntary.  

Cory Amyotte was not forced to come forward with this information. He believed his family was in danger, but yet he still did the right thing. He called the police himself and volunteered this information that he witnessed.  I don't believe that he had any motive to lie about anything that he said.

After having seen a considerable portion of this trial, so far, I believe that Cansanay should only be found guilty of manslaughter and 3 counts of attempted murder, instead of second degree murder. From the evidence so far, I don't believe that he had the INTENT to harm the innocent victims. He was recklessly shooting, in my opinion and a stray bullet happened to strike the victims.

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