Accused was ‘fall guy’ in shootings: defence

The lawyer for a man accused of gunning down two strangers in separate fatal drive-by shootings says his client was the fall guy for disreputable people who were desperate to save themselves.

Dillon Ricky Whitehawk has pleaded not guilty to two first-degree murder charges in the 2019 deaths of Jordan Denton, 27, and Keenan Toto, 23.

Read more: Footage obtained from home security cameras shows Keenan Toto’s last moments

During closing arguments Thursday, defence lawyer Thomas Hynes told the jury that Whitehawk, 27, did not pull the trigger in either shooting.

The Crown has argued that Whitehawk killed the men to raise his status and profile as he tried to climb the ranks within his street gang.

Prosecutor Adam Breker said the two men were targeted by Whitehawk during a gang war in Regina because they were wearing the rival colour red.

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The Crown relied heavily on the testimony of four gang witnesses, three of whom said they were in the car with Whitehawk when he shot Denton and Toto.

The witnesses cannot be named due to a publication ban.

In his closing argument, Hynes attacked the character of the witnesses and said “their words are not enough.”

“They’re robbers. They’re drug dealers. They’re scam artists. They’re perjurers. Could they also be murderers?” Hynes said.

“They would make a deal with the devil himself if it saved them from the consequences of their actions.”

Hynes said Whitehawk was the odd man out who didn’t fit in.

The lawyer suggested it was one of the four gang witnesses who killed Denton and Toto.

Read more: Man facing 3 murder charges in the death of 3 Regina residents

“(He’s) a bizarre fall guy for a small group of people who are desperate to save themselves,” Hynes said. “People who have a lot to gain from pointing the finger at him.”

The trial is to resume Friday when Justice Neil Robertson of Court of Queen’s Bench is to give instructions to the jurors before they begin their deliberations.

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© 2022 The Canadian Press

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