Murder suspect's fate in hands of jury

Jurors in the trial of triple murder suspect Real Honorio will resume deliberations Wednesday after failing to reach a verdict Tuesday night.

The four-woman, eight-man Court of Queen’s Bench jury earlier received final legal instructions from Justice Glen Poelman before they began considering a verdict in the month-long case.

Honorio is accused of being one of two gunmen who stormed the Bolsa restaurant in south Calgary on New Year’s Day, 2009, killing a rival gangster, Sanjeev Mann, and his associate, Aaron Bendle, inside.

A third shooter, waiting outside the restaurant, shot and killed innocent bystander Keni Su’a as he fled the carnage.

In his charge to jurors, Poelman outlined the evidence they heard over four weeks, the theories of the Crown and defence and the potential verdicts available.

The focal point of the case was a so-called “Mr. Big” operation in which undercover Calgary police officers, posing as members of a criminal organization, got Honorio to confess his involvement in the case.

But the defence argued Honorio’s admission he was one of the two shooters inside the restaurant lacked the detail the real killer would hold.

Defence lawyer Greg Dunn, in his final submissions to jurors on Monday, said Honorio didn’t supply “hold-back” evidence not released by the police, because he wasn’t sure of the calibres of the three firearms used.

But Crown prosecutor Rajbir Dhillon countered it would be highly unlikely Honorio would falsely confess to a murder after two independent witnesses came forward and gave police information implicating him.

One of those witnesses, who both can’t be identified, said Honorio confessed to shooting Mann inside the restaurant, while another said Honorio was involved with the planned killings and was one of the three gunmen who went to Bolsa.

Honorio faces three charges of first-degree murder in the massacre.

Poelman told jurors they could only convict him of that charge in Su’a’s death, if they find the innocent bystander, who bore a resemblance to Mann, was mistaken for the gangster as he fled.

He said if they determine Honorio was one of the gunmen and the killings of both Mann and Bendle were part of a planned and deliberate plot, then he’d be guilty of first-degree murder in their deaths.