NEWS

1 guilty in contract killing of Toronto millionaire

12/20/2011 02:18 EST | Updated 02/19/2012 05:12 EST

A Toronto jury has found one man guilty and a mistrial has been declared for a second man in the slaying of Toronto millionaire and philanthropist Glen Davis.

Ivgeny (Eugene) Vorobiov was convicted Tuesday of killing Davis.

The jury could not come to a unanimous decision for Dmitri Kossyrine. His trial is now declared a mistrial.

Both men were charged with first-degree murder.

Davis was shot and killed on May 18, 2007, in an underground parking garage near Mount Pleasant Road and Eglinton Avenue East as he returned to his car after a luncheon appointment.

The garage is in the same building as the office of the World Wildlife Fund offices. Davis was an avid supporter of both WWF Canada and the Sierra Club of Canada.

Outside the courtroom Tuesday, friends of Davis told reporters they hoped justice would be served.

"It's difficult. It's very difficult. It's a long ordeal," said Peter Quinn, a long-time friend of the victim.

"We're disappointed that this isn't over, but we're glad for the progress that's been made so far."

Laurence Cohen, Kossyrine's lawyer, said the jury was deadlocked due to too much uncertainty about his client's alleged role in the murder.

"There's an issue with a lack of the Crown's evidence," he said. "The Crown would differ with that perspective, but at the end of the day, we're confident if there is another trial, we'll mount another very strong defence."

Det.-Sgt. Peter Moreira, who led the investigation into Davis's death, expressed some measure of satisfaction with the guilty verdict for one of the two accused.

"There is nothing positive about this except that there is some accountability of the actions of Ivgeny Vorobiov on May 18, 2007," he said.

Failed twice to reach unanimous verdict

Vorobiov and Kossyrine, both 33, were charged with the contract killing of 66-year-old Davis in May 2007.

The court was told that the two Richmond Hill men were hired by Davis' godson to carry out the killing.

Vorobiov testified he had gone to the parking garage to kill Davis but backed out at the last moment. He said another man —Jesse Smith — took the gun and shot the Toronto millionaire.

Smith pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to murder in an earlier trial. He was a star witness for the Crown.

Prosecutors said Kossyrine had arranged the killing, along with Davis's godson, Marshall Ross.

The jury of 10 men and two women deliberated for four days.

On Monday, they told Justice Ian Nordheimer they had reached a verdict for one of the accused, but were deadlocked on the fate of the other.

Nordheimer instructed them to try again, but they failed again to reach a unanimous verdict for both men.

On Tuesday afternoon, the judge convicted Vorobiov and then declared a mistrial for Kossyrine.

In October, Ross pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, admitting to his role in the killing.

In a statement of facts submitted to the court during the his trial, Ross said he was having financial problems when the murder plot was hatched. He thought Davis' death would bring him an influx of money because he was a well-liked relative of the multimillionaire.

That never happened.

Ross was sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility for parole for 25 years.

Vorobiov's first-degree murder conviction means he will face the same sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years, as well as a weapons ban.

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