HAMILTON- A jury has found Dale King not guilty of second-degree murder admitting to firing the shot that killed 19-year-old Yosif Al-Hasnawi the man dubbed the “Good Samaritan,” who had been coming to the aid of an elderly man.”
When the verdict was read King, 21, broke down in tears while Al-Hasnawi’s mother abruptly left the courthouse without speaking to reporters.
King pled guilty to the charge and testified that he believed his best friend, James Matheson, was about to be stabbed by Al-Hasnawi.
The court heard that in the weeks before the shooting King had bought a .22 calibre Derringer Magnum handgun, which is a prohibited weapon, and 20 hollow point bullets. King said that he bought the gun after being robbed, tied up and burned with boiling water.
King was carrying the weapon, which could fit in the palm of his hand, on the night of December 2nd when he and Matheson were walking along Main Street East. The two men were heading towards the Budget Inn where King was going to sell meth when they walked by the Main Street East Mosque where Al-Hasnawi and his then 13-year-old brother and two friends were standing outside of. Matheson made fun of an older man walking ahead of them when Al-Hasnawi called the two over.
The Crown said that Al-Hasnawi asked if the two were going to jump the man. King told the court that Al-Hasnawi also mentioned liking to jump people and weapons while he has his hands in his pockets.
King said that he pulled the gun out in warning, saying that he didn’t want to use it. Al-Hasnawi made a response in the vein of ‘you think I’m afraid of you because you have a gun’?
At this point Matheson sucker punched Al-Hasnawi before running away with King. It was agreed by the witnesses who were there that Al-Hasnawi gave chase to the two. Al-Hasnawi nearly caught up to Matheson, who yelled out for help. King said that he thought his friend was about to be stabbed so he turned and fired with one bullet fatally striking Al-Hasnawi near his belly button. Al-Hasnawi died in hospital about an hour after being shot.
Matheson, who was a difficult witness, was charged with accessory after the fact to murder but pleaded guilty to obstruct justice. King’s defence team of Jonathan Shime and Owen Goddard argued that Matheson was looking for a get out of jail free card while Matheson admitted that he would have lied to get out of jail.
King was the only witness called by the defence to testify during the two-day long trial. During the course of the trial the court heard that King is Indigenous, was abused and removed from his home as a toddler and was homeless, living with friends, using drugs and selling crystal meth.
The jury in the trial was given three choices, they could find King guilty of second-degree murder, not guilty or they could find him guilty of manslaughter.
The court also heard that the two paramedics who responded are accused of not believing that Al-Hasnawi had been shot. They have both been charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life and their trail start in January.