Monday, 26 June 2017

         Who really killed Andrea White?

Michael Davani, 24, and Alwayne Bigby, 26, were both on trial for first-degree murder in 33-year-old Andrea White White’s death. The Scarborough mother of four was in the garage of her home with family members on Forest Creek Pathway, in the Morningside and Old Finch Avenue area in Toronto when she was fatally struck by a bullet on the night of April 12, 2014,

Police allege that the two men drove by in a white SUV, firing several shots. They were apprehended when the OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) spotted the vehicle on Highway 401 near Bathurst St. Police say the two fled on foot, but Davani was arrested nearby, while Bigby turned himself in around 5:30 a.m. a few days later. They were both charged with First Degree Murder.

Both men had pleaded not guilty. The Crown, (prosecutor) had built a case around Bigby being the driver of the car they were in and Davani, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, as the shooter.

Mumbling at times, Davani said that on the night of April 12, 2014, he and Bigby were on their way from Bigby’s home in Etobicoke to a vigil in a park at Morningside and Old Finch for a friend who had been shot to death. Along the way, Davani said, they stopped at a gas station near Kipling Ave. and Rexdale Blvd., and then at a nearby apartment building to buy some marijuana.

Davani testified in his own defence, alleging that a third person was in Bigby’s Range Rover with him and his co-accused that night. Davani said that the previously unheard of person was the one who actually fired the gun. He identified that person as a man called Star who was identified in court as Ayub Osman. .Davani said as he testified in court, “I knew who (Osman) was from the community. We were friends but not good friends. It wasn’t until the summer of 2016, when I happened to be in custody with Osman that I found out his real name after hearing a correctional officer says it.”

Davani said in court that he wasn’t very close with the man he accused of pulling the trigger, and didn’t even know his real name at the time. “I didn’t know he had a firearm or else I wouldn’t have invited him to come.”      

The lawyer for Bigby argued that his client, a former NCAA basketball player that his client couldn’t have knowingly contributed to the 2014 fatal drive-by shooting of Andrea White.

That would mean that when they were passing the victim’s garage, he didn’t realize that Davani intended to shoot the victim. In other words, he did not have a guilty mind because he did not know what Mr. Davani was intending to do.”

His lawyer, Bayliss, told the jury, “Bigby sped up as shots were fired out the window of his Range Rover, a reaction inconsistent with the notion he purposely helped the shooter. “

That is a stupid statement by Bayliss.  If Bigby really knew that Davina was going to shoot the woman in the garage, then after the shot was fired, he would have driven his vehicle from the scene of the shooting as fast as he could before anyone could take notice of his vehicle’s licence plate.   

Sapiano, Davani’s lawyer pointed out to the jury that physical evidence found later suggested that his client wasn’t the one who fired the shots. No gun shot residue particles were found on his hands and some of the clothing he was wearing that night. A change of shoes belonging to Davani was also found in the back seat of the vehicle, suggesting he was sitting there rather than the front passenger’s seat, where the shots originated, the lawyer told the jury.

Of course, Davani could have jumped into the back seat from the front seat to change his shoes if the extra pair of shoes was in the back seat. However, I can’t fully explain why there was no gun residue on his body or clothing unless the gun was fired from a partially lowered window. If that was so and the vehicle was moving, the residue would have been behind the window a split second after the gun was fired, hence none of it would be on his clothing and perhaps a minute amount on his face which could be wiped off before the police reached him.

On the night of the shooting, Davani and Bigby were on their way to a vigil in a park at Morningside Ave. and Old Finch Ave. for a friend named Kwado Mensah, who was previously shot to death.

Davani earlier testified that on their way to the vigil, they stopped at a nearby apartment building so he could buy a gram of marijuana and that in the five minutes Davani was there, Osman, who was at drug dealer’s home, decided to come with them.

Bigby then drove to Scarborough, according to Davani, but when they arrived at Morningside and Old Finch, they couldn’t find the park. They turned into a nearby housing complex in an effort to find it, but soon realized they’d gone too far and Bigby turned the vehicle around. If Forest Creek Pathway, in the Morningside and Old Finch Avenue area in Toronto wasn’t their final destination, that may have been why Bigby was driving his vehicle on that street?   Is it possible that there really was a specific reason to drive on that particular street?

When the vehicle was abreast of the garage were the shooting took place, Davani said in his testimony, “That’s when Osman pulled out a gun and began firing out the window.”

Osman did not testify in the trial because as Sapiano said, “He was subpoenaed by his office twice in February and March but failed to appear in court, even after a material witness warrant was issued.”

Sapiano said the evidence pointed to a “substantial reasonable doubt” that Davani was responsible for White’s death. No matter who the jury decided shot the bullet that killed her, Sapiano urged them to see that person couldn’t have possessed the necessary intent to be convicted of first-degree murder.

“Rather,” Sapano said,” it was a “foolish, spur-of-the-moment” decision to fire a gun in the direction of nearby buildings and open air, as evidenced by the sporadic location of where the other five bullets landed.”

Quite frankly, I find that proposal ludicrous. First of all, if the gun was fired into the air, the barrel would have been pointed upwards and the bullets fired from the gun at that moment would never  have been found. And if they were fired in direction of nearby buildings, then how come the bullets were not found in the areas of those buildings. Since five bullets were found nearby, I am presuming that the area they were found were in the immediate location of the garage were Ms. White was shot.

His lawyer suggested that at most, the jury should find the shooter guilty of manslaughter. “If the shooter was trying to end human life in that garage, why’d he only hit one person?” Sapiano asked rhetorically, adding those in the garage weren’t the target, but rather “meant to be the audience.”
How gullible did Sapano think the members of the jury were?  Is this lawyer saying that the shooter intended that Ms. White was to be an audience in the so-called random shooting and subsequently, accidentally became the victim instead?  Obviously the jury wasn’t that gullible.

Further, if Ms. White was the target, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the shooter would want to kill the witnesses. Such a killer would never get out of prison if he killed more than one victim. Beside, who could identify the killer of they weren’t actually looking at the car when it was driven past the garage?

Edward Sapiano told the jury that the shooting of Ms. White shouldn’t be seen as a premeditated attempt to take someone’s life. The lawyer was asking the jury to find his client guilty of manslaughter if they convicted him of the shooting instead of first degree murder.

He said that his client was wrongly blamed for her death. If he was, I have no idea what the motive of the shooter (whoever the shooter was) would have been.

Sapiano pointed to evidence that he suggested supports his client’s case—that a third man known to the duo as “Star,” who’s since been identified as Ayub Osman, was the alleged shooter. “Star started shooting without warning” and without any knowledge on Davani’s part that there was even a gun in the vehicle, Sapiano told the jury.

How easy it is to place the blame on someone who isn’t available to deny the accusation when testifying in court.

Testimony by friends of White, who were with her when she was shot, corroborates the notion there were at least three people in the car that night

Is it possible that Star was sitting in the front seat and Davani was sitting in the back seat? If that is so, perhaps the jurors believed that Star didn`t bring the gun into the car and that it was Davani who brought the gun into the car and he was the man who fired it. That is why the prosecutor built its case around Bigby as the driver and Davani, sitting in the front passenger seat, as the shooter.

I believe that Davani was the man who killed Ms. White. What his motive was, I have no idea,. The jury convicted Davani of first degree murder and acquitted because the jury believed his testimony when he said that he had no idea that Davani would fire the gun at Ms. White.

We will never know how the jury arrived at its verdict because unlike in the U.S., jury verdicts are secret. They may have asked themselves some of the points that I have just placed in this article. Those points sure point in the direction of Davani being the killer. However, this is strictly m own opinion.

Davani will serve a minimum of twenty-five years in prison minus the time he was incarcerated waiting for his trial. 

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