Cellphone shooting trial: Witnesses trace Mohamed Sail, Muhab Sultan around city

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Allie Boddy was woken up by her door bell ringing over and over.

It was 6:30 a.m. on June 14, 2015, when she was roused from sleep to go to see who was at the front door of her London home. She peered through the window and sawa stranger, wearing black pants and a black shirt with his hands behind his back. She didn’t open the door.

The man, who has been identified as Mohamed Sail, wanted to use the phone.

“He could tell I was a little nervous,” Boddy said during her testimony at Sail’as second-degree murder trial.

Sail told her, “My girlfriend kicked me out of the car. I don’t know where I am. I need you to call me a cab.”

Boddy’s address was about three kilometres from the spot where Sail, 26, and Muhab Sultan, 23, had abandoned Sultan’s Mazda 6 on Wyndham Crescent after Brampton teen Jeremy Cook was shot to death while trying to retrieve his lost cellphone.

Jeremy Cook

Sail has pleaded not guilty and the issue for the Superior Court jury to decide is who fired the gun: Sultan, who drowned in Ottawa almost two weeks after the shooting, or Sail.

Friday’s testimony has focused on what happened after the shocking shooting that left the 18-year-old carpentry apprentice dead in a parking lot near Huron and Highbury streets after he and his sister had tracked his missing iPhone to the car.

After grabbing onto the car and riding on the outside of it as the vehicle peeled away from a McDonald’s parking lot, Cook was shot in the shoulder and chest behind a nearby Shoppers Drug Mart.

Before the first Crown witness of the day was called, the jury heard a list of 14 admissions of evidence agreed to by the Crown and the defence.

Deputy Crown attorney Fraser Ball told the jury Sail and Sultan arrived in London on May 30, 2015, on a flight from Calgary.

Sail, whose nickname is Joey, was at all times the passenger and Sultan the driver of the car.

Cook’s missing cellphone was found the same day as the shooting between two Wyndham Crescent houses. The car’s key and fob were recovered on July 6, 2015, three weeks after Cook’s death, in some mulch by a tree on the same street.

The gun, a Taurus model PT740 40-calibre Smith & Wesson semi-automatic handgun with an obliterated serial number, was found in a home in Toronto on July 9, 2015.

Also admitted was evidence that silver spray paint found on Cook’s head and right middle finger during the autopsy came from the same source as the silver paint on Mazda’s driver’s door side and foam door liner of the Mazda.

“The paint was applied wet to Jeremy Cook,” Ball said.

Sultan’s brother Muhanad testified he was “shocked and surprised” when his brother called him from the airport two weeks before the shooting to say he was in town.

Sultan stayed with him and bought the car off the classified website Kijiji.

Sultan’s brother said they had grown up in London. He also knew Sail, though not well, and had seen him at community events.

The night before the shooting Sultan’s brother was at the Factory, a downtown London bar, with some friends when Sultan showed up.

Sultan had told his brother that he would be leaving the city earlier that day, so his brother was surprised to see him.

After the bar closed, they all went to a house party on Maitland Street.

Sultan’s brother said he doesn’t drink and is often the designated driver. Sultan, he said, was “was having fun, loud and proud as he usually is.”

Sail was at the party as well.

Sultan’s brother said he left before Sultan did, at about 4 a.m. Sultan, he said, was having trouble with his car and needed to have the battery boosted.

That was the last time he saw his brother. After the shooting, Sultan sent him text messages, urging him to say they left the party together and went straight home. This was “VERY IMPORTANT,” he wrote in capital letters.

Sultan’s brother testified he knew there was a warrant out for Sultan’s arrest and never answered the messages.

The jury heard from Richard Masson, a man who heard a crash from his sixth-floor apartment on Huron Street and saw a car similar to Sultan’s up against a fence. The driver was trying to get it move but because of some damage to the car, it left the area slowly.

Danny Bikos testified he saw a man “speed-walking” along the sidewalk on Wyndham Crescent when he was getting ready to leave for work at 5:30 a.m. The man had on a black shirt, black pants and white sneakers.

“He looked like he was in a little bit of a panic,” Bikos said.

Boddy testified she called Sail a cab and he waited at the end of her driveway. Faisal Abdullah, a Yellow taxi driver, testified he picked him up and drove Sail to three addresses – Centre Road, the Aldersbrook Drive area and Sarnia Road — where Sail told the cabbie he was trying to find relatives to pay his fare. Each time, he was unsuccessful.

But in the back of the cab, he was polite. He told Abdullah his father had been a London cab driver and pointed out where he had gone to school.

The fare was $50 by the time Abdullah dropped him off. Sail gave him his wallet and Abdullah saw there was a piece of identification inside with Sail’s name and an Alberta logo. Abdullah gave him a card with his cellphone number to call him with the money.

The next morning, Sail called him and asked to meet him at Westmount Mall. Abdullah said he drove there and another man, not Sail, approached the cab.

“Here’s $50. Give me the wallet,” the man said.

London police Sgt. Alan O’Brien will be back in the witness box after lunch. He was asked to identify some maps and read out a Calgary police interception from an unrelated investigation in which “Joey” makes arrangements to buy a “Glock 40” for $3,000.

In cross-examination, defence lawyer Sharon Jeethan reviewed more of the timeline. O’Brien agreed that Sultan was seen on a Greyhound bus bound for Toronto. A warrant for his arrest was issued on July 19, 2015.

On June 24, 2015, Sultan drowned in the Rideau River in Ottawa. His body was recovered three days later.

The warrant for Sail was issued on July 6, 2015, and Sail turned himself in four days later in Calgary.

O’Brien also agreed that Cook inadvertently left his cellphone in a cab. Another man, Ayanle Aden, used the cab after Cook.

Hours later, Aden exited Sultan’s car just as Cook and his sister approached the vehicle hoping to retrieve the cellphone they had tracked through a mobile app.

The trial continues Friday afternoon.



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