SASKATOON – The fates of three men accused in the 2004 killing of an alleged Saskatoon drug dealer are now in the hands of the trial judge after closing arguments wrapped up Wednesday afternoon. Long Nam Luu, Jonathan Dombowsky and Kennith Tingle are all charged with first-degree murder in connection to the killing of Isho Hana, who was gunned down on Preston Avenue in April of 2004.
Various statements by the alleged shooter, Neil Yakimchuk, implicate the three men, according to the Crown.
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On Wednesday the Crown argued that the trial judge must consider the entire evidence before the court, much of which is connected. Prosecutor Michael Segu likened the case to to a painting.
“You stand too close, you don’t see the picture,” said Segu, in court Wednesday.
“If you take a step back … the story begins to emerge.”
Segu stated three accounts by Yakimchuk to undercover officers posing as criminals explained why Hana was killed, how and who ordered it done.
He argued that statements made by other witnesses confirmed Yakimchuk’s version of events leading up to the killing, including the non-fatal shooting of Luu’s wife and an assault on Dombowsky. Yakimchuk later testified he had lied to undercover agents, however Segu referred to that testimony as a “self-serving effort to save his own skin.”
READ MORE: Closing arguments underway in 2004 Saskatoon murder trial
The defence has argued that Noel Harder, a Crown witness and convicted drug dealer, was not truthful on the stand. However Segu claimed Harder received nothing for testifying and was consistent in his accounts, despite a lengthy and sometimes testy cross-examination by defence lawyers.
The Crown also highlighted specifics in Yakimchuk’s account of Hana’s death to undercover officers. Yakimchuck said he and Tingle went to kill Hana, but both of their guns jammed, allowing him to briefly escape before being shot and killed.
The Crown argued Yakimchuk wouldn’t make up a story where a murder does not go according to plan, if he was trying to impress fellow criminals.
In previous days, defence lawyers said a lack of solid and secure evidence should result in acquittals for the three men charged. Besides calling into question the credibility of Harder, the defence has referred to differing eye witness accounts of the murder and the inconsistent statements given by Yakimchuck over the years.
The defence again rebutted some of the Crown’s claims in court Wednesday, before the judge adjourned the case for a decision in late June.