A Vincentian national along with another individual who were set to undergo a lengthy murder trial before a jury next week at the Montreal courthouse opted instead on Thursday to admit to their roles in the violent death of Gilbert Nshimiyumukiza, a Rwandan refugee.
On Thursday, Superior Court Justice Michel Pennou was informed of how Nshimiyumukiza ended up being shot in the head on April 30, 2016, in his basement apartment on Grenet St., in the Ahuntsic-Cartierville borough.
This happened during a home invasion while an alleged drug dealer was looking to collect a debt.
Vincentian national Nikita Hunt who were part of the home invasion along with ermaine Gero, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and manslaughter respectively on Thursday, Both men admitted they were there to support Robertson Shamora, 31, a Montreal resident who for weeks had been looking to collect money that Nshimiyumukiza owed him for drugs.
Shamora remains accused of first-degree murder in the case but has yet to be arrested, Prosecutors say.
According to the Montreal Gazzette, Gero was armed with a gun during the home invasion and he pointed it at Nshimiyumukiza and his roommate, while Hunt and Shamora yelled at them.
A fourth man, who has never been identified, joined the trio and used a small bat to assault Nshimiyumukiza’s roommate.
A publication ban has been placed on the roommate’s name out of concerns for his safety.
He was scheduled to testify as a prosecution witness during the trial. He would have testified that he saw Gero shoot his friend in the head. Nshimiyumukiza was taken to a hospital where he died the following day.
Police later recovered a palm print off the window that would provide a match to Hunt. Gero left behind a pair of distinctive yellow gloves, visible on footage from one of the cameras in the building, and police recovered his DNA from one of them.
Both men were arrested months later and Hunt still possessed the gun used to kill the victim.
The firearm was wrapped in a bandana that had a small blood stain on it, which provided more DNA evidence linking Gero to the murder.
Defence lawyer James Dawson outlined a common suggestion that could see Hunt be sentenced to an overall nine-year prison term.
Dawson said his client is a permanent resident in Canada and that Hunt realizes he could be deported to his country of origin, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as a result of what he pleaded guilty to.
Pennou will decide if he agrees with the sentence when matter comes up next week.
The judge is also scheduled to hear arguments on Gero’s parole eligibility on the same day. Gero received an automatic life sentence when he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.