A corrupt Hamilton cop covered up an unsolved 2005 murder, Crown argues at opening of trial

A crucial Crown witness in a Hamilton murder trial is expected to make an explosive allegation Monday implicating an already convicted corrupt cop in a coverup that, if true, left a killer on Toronto streets.The allegation is the most serious yet levelled against ex-Hamilton police officer Craig Ruthowsky, who was previously convicted of bribery, attempt to obstruct justice, breach of trust and cocaine trafficking three years ago after a jury trial in Toronto. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison and is currently out on bail pending appeal. He also has outstanding charges.Ruthowsky’s lawyer, Scott Hutchinson, is aware of the new allegations but has so far declined to make any comment on his client’s behalf.Prosecutors Andrew McLean and Steve Kim opened their case via Zoom on Monday by telling the judge the 2005 shooting death of Michael Parmer might have been solved back in 2008 were it not for Ruthowsky’s interference.Parmer, a 22-year-old resident of Niagara Falls, Ont., was shot in the face outside a bar in Hamilton, Ont., on Sept. 8, 2005. For more than a dozen years, the murder of the charismatic, good-natured young man remained unsolved.But early on Hamilton police had a suspect: Jermaine Dunkley, a one-time high school basketball star in that city who later became a GTA rapper. One of Parmer’s friends selected Dunkley out of a photo lineup. Dunkley is currently serving a life sentence after being convicted of first-degree murder in Toronto in 2018.Dunkley has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of Parmer. According to the Crown’s witness, she saw Dunkley execute Parmer. At the time, she was a drug dealer in Hamilton and knew Dunkley from the city’s drug trade. She is expected to testify that she did not initially tell police because she was scared not only of Dunkley but also Ruthowsky. The identity of the Crown witness is under a publication ban. In 2008, the witness says she was approached by Hamilton police officers who asked her to co-operate in the Parmer investigation. She considered the request, but first wanted to talk to Ruthowsky. She was working as one of his confidential informants and trusted him, she’s expected to testify.Their arrangement was similar to those other drug dealers who testified at Ruthowsky’s 2018 corruption trial in Toronto. She was entitled to commit crime and sell drugs as long as she provided Ruthowsky with useful information.According to a pre-trial motion, back in 2008, the witness called Ruthowsky who told her not to talk to police and “he would handle it.” She listened to him because she trusted him, and never gave a formal statement to Hamilton police.The witness is expected to tell court she later discovered Dunkley and Ruthowsky had a corrupt partnership and that, in hindsight, she realized Ruthowsky had been protecting Dunkley because he never acted upon any of her tips.The woman “fled” to Alberta, fearful of what might happen to her. The case went cold until 2017, when the witness came forward and told police she witnessed Dunkley — who was living in Hamilton in 2005 — shoot Parmer in the face.The Crown argued in a pre-trial motion that her evidence about Ruthowsky, and fear of both men, is necessary in this trial to explain the circumstances of her delay in speaking to police. At the time of the murder, she was a 23-year-old woman who supported herself through drug dealing and social assistance.By the time she came forward in 2017, Dunkley was already in custody for a Nov. 24, 2013, Toronto murder after various jail stints in Hamilton and Toronto, which is his hometown. Dunkley eventually returned to his Rexdale neighbourhood where he began to make a name for himself as a gang leader and rapper named J Noble. He called his burgeoning musical enterprise Monstarz.Toronto police say Monstarz, a faction of the Mount Olive Crips, was also a criminal organization involved in drug dealing, guns and murder. Monstarz came on the radar of Toronto police during a 2010 wiretap called Project Marvel, which established the gang had networks with other crime groups including the Hamilton Crips.In 2015, another Toronto police gang investigation, called Project Pharaoh, resulted in the arrest of Dunkley, some of his Hamilton cohorts, and Ruthowsky.In November 2018, a Toronto jury convicted Dunkley of first-degree murder for arranging the fatal shooting of long-time family friend Neeko Mitchell outside a Rexdale community centre in 2013. Dunkley suspected Mitchell had something to do with his brother’s murder.Betsy Powell is a Toronto-based reporter covering crime and courts for the Star. Follow her on Twitter: @powellbetsy

A corrupt Hamilton cop covered up an unsolved 2005 murder, Crown argues at opening of trial

A crucial Crown witness in a Hamilton murder trial is expected to make an explosive allegation Monday implicating an already convicted corrupt cop in a coverup that, if true, left a killer on Toronto streets.

The allegation is the most serious yet levelled against ex-Hamilton police officer Craig Ruthowsky, who was previously convicted of bribery, attempt to obstruct justice, breach of trust and cocaine trafficking three years ago after a jury trial in Toronto. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison and is currently out on bail pending appeal. He also has outstanding charges.

Ruthowsky’s lawyer, Scott Hutchinson, is aware of the new allegations but has so far declined to make any comment on his client’s behalf.

Prosecutors Andrew McLean and Steve Kim opened their case via Zoom on Monday by telling the judge the 2005 shooting death of Michael Parmer might have been solved back in 2008 were it not for Ruthowsky’s interference.

Parmer, a 22-year-old resident of Niagara Falls, Ont., was shot in the face outside a bar in Hamilton, Ont., on Sept. 8, 2005. For more than a dozen years, the murder of the charismatic, good-natured young man remained unsolved.

But early on Hamilton police had a suspect: Jermaine Dunkley, a one-time high school basketball star in that city who later became a GTA rapper. One of Parmer’s friends selected Dunkley out of a photo lineup. Dunkley is currently serving a life sentence after being convicted of first-degree murder in Toronto in 2018.

Dunkley has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of Parmer.

According to the Crown’s witness, she saw Dunkley execute Parmer. At the time, she was a drug dealer in Hamilton and knew Dunkley from the city’s drug trade. She is expected to testify that she did not initially tell police because she was scared not only of Dunkley but also Ruthowsky. The identity of the Crown witness is under a publication ban.

In 2008, the witness says she was approached by Hamilton police officers who asked her to co-operate in the Parmer investigation. She considered the request, but first wanted to talk to Ruthowsky. She was working as one of his confidential informants and trusted him, she’s expected to testify.

Their arrangement was similar to those other drug dealers who testified at Ruthowsky’s 2018 corruption trial in Toronto. She was entitled to commit crime and sell drugs as long as she provided Ruthowsky with useful information.

According to a pre-trial motion, back in 2008, the witness called Ruthowsky who told her not to talk to police and “he would handle it.” She listened to him because she trusted him, and never gave a formal statement to Hamilton police.

The witness is expected to tell court she later discovered Dunkley and Ruthowsky had a corrupt partnership and that, in hindsight, she realized Ruthowsky had been protecting Dunkley because he never acted upon any of her tips.

The woman “fled” to Alberta, fearful of what might happen to her. The case went cold until 2017, when the witness came forward and told police she witnessed Dunkley — who was living in Hamilton in 2005 — shoot Parmer in the face.

The Crown argued in a pre-trial motion that her evidence about Ruthowsky, and fear of both men, is necessary in this trial to explain the circumstances of her delay in speaking to police. At the time of the murder, she was a 23-year-old woman who supported herself through drug dealing and social assistance.

By the time she came forward in 2017, Dunkley was already in custody for a Nov. 24, 2013, Toronto murder after various jail stints in Hamilton and Toronto, which is his hometown. Dunkley eventually returned to his Rexdale neighbourhood where he began to make a name for himself as a gang leader and rapper named J Noble. He called his burgeoning musical enterprise Monstarz.

Toronto police say Monstarz, a faction of the Mount Olive Crips, was also a criminal organization involved in drug dealing, guns and murder. Monstarz came on the radar of Toronto police during a 2010 wiretap called Project Marvel, which established the gang had networks with other crime groups including the Hamilton Crips.

In 2015, another Toronto police gang investigation, called Project Pharaoh, resulted in the arrest of Dunkley, some of his Hamilton cohorts, and Ruthowsky.

In November 2018, a Toronto jury convicted Dunkley of first-degree murder for arranging the fatal shooting of long-time family friend Neeko Mitchell outside a Rexdale community centre in 2013. Dunkley suspected Mitchell had something to do with his brother’s murder.

Betsy Powell is a Toronto-based reporter covering crime and courts for the Star. Follow her on Twitter: @powellbetsy

Source : Toronto Star More   

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Daycare testing: Making sure the kids are all right

Guest: Jennifer Yang, Health Reporter for the Star

Ask any parent with young children in daycare and they’ll have plenty of COVID-19 testing stories for you. With higher rates of COVID transmissions, many parents and families have caught the virus through their child’s daycare or opted for trips to testing centres with the appearance of every sniffle or fever. Some experts have advised people to pull their kids from daycares, but that is just not possible for many families. In a move to help families and try to get a track of spread, there is a new testing program in the daycare setting to make the process a little easier.

Listen to this episode and more at “This Matters” or subscribe at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts. If you would like to support the journalism of the Toronto Star, you can subscribe at thestar.com/subscribingmatters.

Raju Mudhar is a co-host and producer on the Star’s podcast team. He is based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @rajumudhar

Source : Toronto Star More   

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