Michael Ford (post until Oct. 31/19)
Criminal

Neuberger walks client on Don Jail homicide

A former Don Jail inmate – who was originally charged with second-degree murder in the beating death of another prisoner – has been found not guilty of manslaughter, says Toronto criminal lawyer Joseph Neuberger.  Read Toronto Star

Said "Mo" Mohamed, 25, Neuberger's client, walked out of the Superior Court a free man, after the jury deliberated six days. His four co-accused were found not guilty of second-degree murder but guilty of the lesser and included offence of manslaughter.

"Mr. Mohamed is delighted with the verdict," says Neuberger, adding, "It was a well-run trial, and I had excellent colleagues representing their clients, all with a common view on how to deal with the case. It was a pleasure to work with them."

Neuberger says Mohamed intends to return to school and "get back on track with his life now. He has a strong, supportive family, very lovely people who have been there throughout this proceeding.

"He really was in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Mohamed was implicated with five inmates accused in the Jan. 2, 2010 death of Kevon “Muscles” Phillip, 24.  Read Prior Story

All five men were charged with second-degree murder, but after the preliminary hearing Mohamed was committed to trial on the lesser offence of manslaughter. Phllip was allegedly dragged into a cell and beaten, and later died asphyxiating on his vomit.

"The jury clearly worked hard over the past six days to carefully scrutinize the evidence," Neuberger tells AdvocateDaily.com. "The two main Crown witnesses had great challenges with their reliability and credibility.  At the preliminary hearing, those weaknesses resulted in my client being discharged of second-degree murder.

"At this trial, whatever could have been accepted of their evidence as to my client's actions, in the light of my cross-examination of them, would have only shown that Mr. Mohamed's actions were not a significant factor in Mr. Phillip's death," he says.

"The larger issue is to scrutinize the operation of the jail and to implement stronger safeguards to ensure the humane treatment of all inmates and have preventive measures in place to, as best as possible, ensure the safety of any inmate so as to avoid tragedies like this in the future," says Neuberger.

 

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