NEWS

2nd suspect in Anthony Smith slaying in court

05/31/2013 04:29 EDT | Updated 07/31/2013 05:12 EDT

The second man charged in the shooting death of Anthony Smith made a court appearance on Friday.

The case has spurred a lot of interest because of a possible connection between the victim and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

Hanad Mohamed, 23, arrived at court dressed in a prison jumpsuit.

In court he kept glancing over at his father and uncle.

Mohamed has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Smith.

The 21-year-old was shot to death outside a nightclub on King Street West in late March.

Smith's best friend was also hurt in the shooting.

Mohamed's father cut short a trip to Kenya when he found out his son was charged with murder.

"My son is innocent," he told reporters. "He's never been in court. He finished high school with good academic marks He was working the last four years."

Mohamed says his son was working in Fort McMurray, Alta., as a security guard when he was arrested.

The family says Mohamed visited Toronto last month, just before he was arrested.

"It's a very difficult situation for him," said defence lawyer Fariborz Davoudi. "It's very emotional. He has never been in trouble. It's a whole new experience. He is coping as well as can be expected."

This case has received a lot of attention.

The person who gave the photo to Toronto Star and Gawker also allegedly tried to sell them a cellphone video that allegedly shows Ford smoking from a glass pipe.

Mohamed's lawyer says he doesn't know whether police seized a cellphone when they arrested his client.

"The subject of Rob Ford never came up. I have no interest in Rob Ford," said Davoudi.

There is a publication ban on the proceedings.

Mohamed will be back in court by video link on June 21.

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