Jeremy Cook murder trial: Crown closes its case

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The Crown has closed its case in the second-degree murder trial of a man accused of gunning down a Brampton teenager.

The jury at Mohamed Sail’s Superior Court trial will find out Wednesday if the defence plans to call any evidence.

Sail has pleaded not guilty in the death of Jeremy Cook, a carpentry apprentice who died while trying to retrieve his lost cellphone on June 14, 2015

Sail and his sister had traced the Apple iPhone, left in a cab earlier in the evening, to a car at a McDonald’s drive-through. It was driven by Muhab Sultan, 23, who died two weeks later in the Rideau River in Ottawa while fleeing police.

The passenger was Sail, a Calgary resident who had lived in London and returned with Sultan from Alberta two weeks before Cook died.

Cook was fatally shot in the chest in a nearby Shoppers Drug Mart parking lot after he had grabbed onto Sultan’s car when it tore away from the area.

The case, which started a week ago, has been moving along at a fast clip. Originally it was slated to last four weeks, but Justice Peter Hockin told the jury of six women and six men that they could be hearing his instructions early next week before they will be asked to make a decision.

Tuesday morning, the jury heard from two scientists from the Centre of Forensic Sciences in Toronto, who examined evidence from the case.

Scientist David Ruddell examined some broken glass found on the asphalt in the parking lot and said it would not be excluded from glass taken from Sultan’s Mazda-6. Three pieces of glass on Cook’s shirt were examined. One of the shards was indistinguishable from the car’s glass.

Ruddell also confirmed that gunshot residue was found on the driver’s seat, the passenger seat, the rear seat and on the rear window ledge.

Ruddell said the multiple locations were indicative of a firearm being discharged inside the car.

He agreed with the defence that gunshot residue is easily transferable.

Scientist Jennifer Plath, a specialist in firearms and toolmarks, examined a shell casing found on the driver’s seat closer to the centre console. She testified that the bullet was fired from the prohibited handgun – a Taurus model PT740 40-calibre Smith & Wesson semi-automatic handgun with an obliterated serial number.

That gun was found a month after the shooting at a residence in Toronto.

She examined the two defects in Cook’s red T-shirt, made when he was shot in the shoulder and the chest.

A hole in the upper part of the shirt, where Cook sustained a shot to his shoulder, was a larger, ragged hole and not typical for an entry wound. She agreed it appeared as if a bullet had passed through something, such as the window of a car, before striking him.

The hole in the chest area was smaller with a cleaner, circular shape. She referred to that hole as “the primary target.”

Plath said the Taurus gun would eject the shell casing to the right when it was fired in the right position. In cross-examination, Plath agreed the path of the casing would depend on if the hand holding the gun was twisted or if it bounced off another object.

She also described the ammunition differences between the Taurus and a “Glock 40,” the gun mentioned in a Calgary police phone intercept two months before the shooting.

The taped conversation played for the jury earlier in the trial, involved “Joey,” the nickname used by Sail negotiating to buy the gun, with an extension for $3,000.

The trial continues on Wednesday.

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