Lawyer for Bolsa shooter seeking mistrial

Lawyers for one of three men convicted in Calgary’s New Year’s Day massacre will seek a mistrial because of evidence which surfaced before his sentencing.

Defence counsel Greg Dunn appeared briefly in Court of Queen’s Bench Friday to set down the Aug. 9 hearing before Justice Robert Poelman.

Outside court, Dunn admitted there wasn’t any case law to support his bid to have a mistrial declared following a jury’s finding of guilt, but will make it anyway.

“The law in terms of a mistrial, post jury conviction and before sentencing, is very limited,” Dunn said.

“But we feel of the view that because of the gravity of the (non-)disclosure in this case ... the judge may make an exception,” he said.

“History is not with us, but we’re hoping the judge will make an exception.”

Real Honorio was convicted in March of two counts of first-degree murder and one of second-degree murder in the Jan. 1, 2009 slayings of three men at the Bolsa restaurant in south Calgary.

Two armed men stormed the eatery and shot gangster Sanjeev Mann and his associate, Aaron Bendle.

Bendle had been kidnapped the night before and used by the killers to get to the main target, Mann.

When the shooting erupted, a Bolsa patron, Keni Su’a, fled, only to be gunned down by a third shooter outside.

Jurors ruled Honorio was one of the two gunmen inside the restaurant who fired on Mann and Bendle, but the deadly plan didn’t include shooting anyone who fled, leading to a second-degree murder conviction for Su’a’s death.

Much of the Crown’s case relied on the testimony of a witness who can only be identified as M.M.

M.M. who was granted immunity from prosecution, said he was part of the kidnapping plot and sat watching from a distance as Honorio and Nathan Zuccherato entered, while Michael Roberto waited outside.

Both Zuccherato and Roberto, who have appealed their convictions, were found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder last fall and sentenced to life in prison.

Shortly before Honorio’s scheduled sentencing hearing, it came to light M.M. confessed to being the sole perpetrator of the massacre during an arrest for impaired driving in Unity, Sask., last July.

Dunn said that evidence would have been crucial to the defence theory that M.M. was one of the killers, not Honorio.

Honorio remains behind bars pending resolution of the case.