The trial of Wolfpack Alliance gangster Rabih (Robby) Alkhalil will go on without him.
The 35-year-old escaped July 21 from North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Coquitlam, putting a temporary halt on his first degree murder trial in B.C. Supreme Court. He is charged with the Jan. 17, 2012 killing of gangster Sandip Duhre at the Sheraton Wall Centre Hotel in Vancouver. Hells Angel Larry Ronald Amero is also standing trial for conspiring to murder Duhre. They were charged in 2018 and both pleaded not guilty.
Justice Miriam Maisonville recalled the jury to say they would return on Wednesday to carry on the trial.
“By now, some or all of you will have heard that Mr. Alkhalil has absconded. I will instruct you later on what use, if any, you can make of that fact,” Maisonville said.
“I remind you again that both accused including including Mr. Alkhalil, who is not before you, is presumed innocent until the Crown has proven their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The trial will continue in the absence of Mr. Alkhalil, and the Crown will have to prove his guilt to you beyond a reasonable doubt, as well as Mr. Amero. I’m instructing all of you now not to pay any further attention to any media accounts, nor anything that you read or hear on the internet, social media or otherwise.”
The judge emphasized the jurors must ignore anything heard about the case outside the courtroom, because only the evidence presented in the courtroom must inform their decision on whether Alkhalil and Amero are guilty.
Coquitlam RCMP said Alkhalil, who is considered dangerous, was dressed in a black jumpsuit and high visibility vest when he left the provincial jail in a white Ford Econoline van at 6:48 p.m. with two others who were posing as contractors. RCMP say they were informed at 7:30 p.m., but their news release was not published until 10:19 p.m.
Duhre was murdered more than 10 years ago in the restaurant while the Sheraton Wall Centre hotel was hosting teams and officials for the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament. Members of the U.S. women’s national soccer team were at a yoga session at the time of the shooting. Goalkeeper Hope Solo tweeted that she was about to walk to Starbucks “when all hell broke loose in the lobby.”
Alkhalil was one of four men convicted and sentenced to life in prison for a 2012 murder in Toronto’s Little Italy during a Euro soccer watch party at a cafe.
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