Man found to have used hatchet to kill drug dealer appeals murder conviction

Published: May 13, 2014
BC-murder-grugs-gangs

Undated photo of Ronak Manji Wagad. Handout photo/VANCOUVER DESI

KEITH FRASER
VANCOUVER DESI

Lawyers for a North Vancouver man convicted of using a hatchet to murder a Vancouver drug dealer were in court Tuesday to appeal the murder conviction.

In May 2012, Babak Najafi-Chaghabouri was found guilty of the February 2009 first-degree murder of Ronak “Ronny” Wagad, 31. Charles Anthony Leslie, his co-accused, was convicted of second-degree murder.

Suzette Narbonne, a lawyer for Najafi-Chaghabouri, told a three-member panel of the B.C. Court of Appeal that the trial judge, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Barry Davies, chose the correct legal test to assess the evidence of several key Crown witnesses, who were drug addicted and had credibility and reliability issues.

She argued, however, that Davies did not apply the test correctly, in particular in assessing evidence that her client had confessed to the murder.

Crown counsel David Butcher conceded that the witnesses had “very troubling” issues but argued that it was not unusual in such a murder case to have such witnesses testify for the prosecution.

And he said that Davies knew the “dangers” of such witnesses and despite their frailties he found that they were not attempting to deceive the court.

In his reasons for judgment, Davies found that the relationship between Leslie and Wagad had deteriorated in the days before the slaying.

He concluded that the accused and a third man, Travis Winterlik, all wanted drugs and money from Wagad, and Leslie wanted revenge on Wagad for previously robbing him and sleeping with his former girlfriend.

They made plans to abduct and rob Wagad, and kidnapped him from his Vancouver apartment.

After a struggle during which Leslie struck Wagad with the hatchet to subdue him, the victim was loaded into the trunk of a rented vehicle and eventually driven to a secluded location along the Fraser River near Chilliwack.

Wagad attempted to flee the vehicle at one point, but was captured and put back into the trunk. Najafi-Chaghabouri used the hatchet to struck Wagad on the back of the head five times, killing him, the judge concluded.

kfraser@theprovince.com

twitter.com/keithrfraser


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,





Featured

Obesity guru

I don’t think that obesity is a laughing matter: Doctor takes the comic route to teach Canadians about obesity

EDMONTON – Dr. Arya Sharma, one of the leading experts on obesity in Canada, doesn’t make fat jokes. But he still pokes fun at the…
Continue Reading »

war crimes-politics

Sri Lankan activist says president is trying to undermine credibility of UN war crimes probe

KRISHAN FRANCIS THE ASSOCIATED PRESS COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s decision to deny entry to U.N. investigators is intended to undermine…
Continue Reading »

Auckland NRI Sikh murder

Sikh community shocked after wife charged for NRI husband’s murder

IANS Wellington – The Sikh community in New Zealand’s Auckland is shocked by the revelation that the wife of a Sikh man is a co-accused…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Obesity guru

I don’t think that obesity is a laughing matter: Doctor takes the comic route to teach Canadians about obesity

EDMONTON – Dr. Arya Sharma, one of the leading experts on obesity in Canada, doesn’t make fat jokes. But he still pokes fun at the…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary named among the best places to live: The Economist

BC-Livability-Cities-Survey, 1st Writethru Correction By Linda Nguyen THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — Three Canadian cities — Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary — have been named as…
Continue Reading »

BC Sikhs

Commercial vehicle safety blitz in Toronto targeted minorities: lawyer

ETHAN LOU THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — A commercial vehicle safety blitz that led to the arrest of 21 people for immigration offences targeted minorities…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

India-surgery

Doctors remove unborn child’s skeleton from woman’s womb after 36 years

VANCOUVER DESI In an unusual surgery, doctors in India removed the skeleton of an unborn baby from its mother’s womb after 36 years, the Press…
Continue Reading »

Sikh-Ontario

Turbaned Sikhs will not be allowed to ride motorbike without a helmet in Ontario

THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says she won’t allow for turban-wearing Sikhs to ride a motorcycle without wearing a helmet. In…
Continue Reading »

Annu Gaidhu

Mississauga beauty Annu Gaidhu crowned Miss India Canada (w/gallery)

VANCOUVER DESI Mississauga’s Annu Gaidhu was crowned Miss India-Canada at the 24th annual pageant in Toronto Saturday evening. The 23-year-old yoga instructor and aspiring child…
Continue Reading »

Best and worst places to live

Vancouver named among the best places to live, Karachi among the worst: The Economist (w/gallery)

LINDA NGUYEN THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — Three Canadian cities — Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary — have been named as some of the best places…
Continue Reading »

Long fares bribe BC

Vancouver taxi driver calls for end to queue-jumping bribe scheme

Network of drivers pays hotel staff to secure long-haul YVR fares JEFF LEE POSTMEDIA NEWS A small clique of drivers at Vancouver Taxi is being…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

desi boobs-actress-celebrity

Bollywood actress from Britain still finds time to help her parents at their corner shop (w/gallery)

VANCOUVER DESI British actress Geeta Basra, who made a name for herself in Bollywood with three major films, still helps her parents at their local…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood stunt man

Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar takes up the ALS ice bucket challenge

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood action hero Akshay Kumar took on the ALS ice bucket challenge in true stuntman style – with 11 buckets of ice water….
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Aamir Khan dropped pants for ‘PK’, wonders would Salman Khan follow suit?

IANS Mumbai – It seems Aamir Khan is in the mood to rag his friend and colleague Salman Khan! The former dropped his pants for…
Continue Reading »