Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"Last Man Standing" Walks

Many Downtown Eastsiders remember the night in 2005 when there was a shoot-out between drug dealers in the New Wings Hotel across from Oppenheimer Park. There were cops walking around with sub-machine guns. Of the three drug dealers involved, two died that night from gun shot wounds. The third, Dennis Knibbs, took off running but was later picked up by police.

Knibbs was acquitted yesterday in the shooting death of Trumaine "Ekoh" Habib, a 21-year old with dreadlocks who enjoyed smoking pot, and sold it too. Habib had ended up with a bullet hole the size of a "silver dollar" in the middle of his chest, according to a paramedic who had arrived at the scene.

Knibbs' supporters clapped loudly from the public gallery after the not guilty verdict was announced.

Some of those were the same supporters who had been in the gallery in 2007 when a a jury found Knibbs guilty of the second degree murder of Habib. The 31 year old Knibbs got an automatic 25 year sentence, but Judge Arne Silverman granted him eligibility for parole in 10 years.

Knibbs appealed.

The BC Court of Appeal, referring to Knibbs as "the last man standing", overturned his conviction. They determined that Judge Silverman had erred in his instructions to the jury on provocation.

The second time around, Knibbs didn't opt for a jury trial. Supreme Court Justice Ronald McKinnon decided his fate.

Habib's mother left comments on this blog during the first trial. She believed the second degree murder conviction by a jury advised by Judge Silverman to use their "common sense" was the right one, and left the following comment on May 16, 2007:

"Common Sence (sic), was used in the deciding factor in this case. They can appeal all they want and HOPEFULLY, the JUDGES USE THEIR COMMON SENCE and don't disregard the JURY'S DECISION... I already knew, that it wasn't completly OVER YET, but as I said, I HOPE that the appeal judges use "COMMON SENCE" AND DON'T RELEASE A BRUTLE MURDERER BACK OUT INTO SOCIETY,THAT WOULD BE "UNCONSCIONABLE"...

YES, Justice was DONE and I Thank GOD for that...

Lanre Habib & Family...