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Sunday, February 27, 2011

CANADA - Bikers turned informants sentenced to life for murders

Co-Operate with cops; Brothers expected to testify against fellow Hell's Angel

If Robert William Simpson and his younger brother Shawn intended to hide the fact they had turned informant on a Hells Angel, they did a terrible job of it.
The pair stood out during a brief hearing at the Montreal courthouse back in November when they told Judge Celine Lacerte Lamontagne they were having difficulty finding lawyers willing to represent them in a high-profile double-murder case. The hearing itself was unusual because the brothers weren't scheduled to appear that day and because the co-accused, Jeffrey Albert Lynds, 42, a member of the Hells Angels Nomads chapter in Ontario, was not brought to the courthouse. Meanwhile, seated in the audience section of the courtroom were several investigators from the Montreal police major crimes squad, something also out of the ordinary for a mere formality hearing.
Outside the courtroom, neither the investigators nor the prosecutor who handled the case that day would comment on what was going on.
But yesterday almost all questions were answered as the Simpson brothers, both from Nova Scotia, pleaded guilty to killing Kirk Murray and Antonio Onesi on Jan. 24, 2010, outside a McDonald's restaurant in Notre Dame de Grâce.
They also admitted to killing Mark Stewart, 41, a South Shore man last seen alive when he received treatment at the Jewish General Hospital in February last year and whose body was found months later in St. Honoré.
Yesterday, prosecutor Sabin Ouellet told Superior Court Justice André Vincent the murders were carried out by the brothers for someone else but did not say Mayor Gérald Tremblay's Union Montreal party used its majority on city council Tuesday night to defeat a motion that would protect what's left of the Redpath mansion on du Musée Ave.

Projet Montréal councillor Alex Norris urged council to go the next step following Tremblay's decision this month to withdraw support for a developer's plan to build condominiums on the site. Norris described the Queen Ann-style former home of the Redpath family, built in 1886, as "a magnificent heritage property, a landmark."
The Ville Marie borough council had initially been in favour of granting an exception to the zoning bylaw that would allow the current owners of the Redpath mansion to build above the 16-metre limit. But when concerns were raised that the new building would obstruct views of Mount Royal, it withdrew its support.
The about-face was not about preserving what remains of the crumbling building, however.
On Tuesday, Norris called for an analysis of the building's heritage interest and a commitment to incorporate what's left of the structure into the project that gets approved.
Helen Fotopoulos, executive committee member responsible for heritage, said such an analysis is already under way, that it is "premature" to presuppose what parts of the building can be preserved and restored, and Ville Marie borough is the place to present such a motion.
Vision Montreal councillors joined those from Projet Montréal to support the motion, but it was outvoted 34-22.
Michael Sochaczevski, the owner and developer of the Redpath mansion, has said there are no other who. Murray, a convicted killer, was summoned to the parking lot on the pretence of a drug deal and Onesi drove him to the McDonald's. The elder Simpson, Robert, 48, admitted yesterday to shooting Murray first and then Onesi, a father of six who also had a grandchild, because he was an unfortunate witness to Murray's murder.
Stewart, a Longueuil resident, was also lured by the Simpson brothers under the pretence of a drug deal.
The elder Simpson has already been convicted of manslaughter in Montreal in the past. In 1995, he killed an 80-year-old woman in La-Salle while robbing her to feed his drug habit.
Yesterday, Ouellet deposed documents stating the brothers have agreed "to co-operate with the administration of justice notably by testifying in the cases related (to the three murders)."
The documents indicate the Simpsons officially became informants on Nov. 2.
According to two sources familiar with the investigation, the brothers are expected to testify against Lynds, a former member of the Hells Angels chapter in Nova Scotia, which was forced to dissolve in 2003. According to a police source, Lynds later became a member of an elite Hells Angels chapter based in Ontario called the Nomads. The biker gang's Nomads chapters are not restricted by geography as their other chapters generally are.
Early in December, it became apparent someone was supplying the police with information about Lynds. He was named, but not charged, in connection with the long unsolved murder of Randy Mersereau, a former Hells Angel who went missing in Nova Scotia in 1999.
In July 2003, when Lynds appeared before the National Parole Board while serving a three-year sentence for trafficking in ecstasy, he readily admitted to the board he was a full-patch member of the notorious gang and planned to remain a member when he was released.
Besides having killed an 80-yearold woman in 1995, Robert Simpson also killed a fellow inmate in 1999 while serving time in the Kingston Penitentiary in Ontario. He was charged with second-degree murder but was found to have acted in self defence.
According to documents filed in court, the Montreal police have so far paid more than $12,000 to cover the cost of meals and medication for both men since Nov. 2. Their contracts call for further payments down the road. For example, they will be paid monthly instalments of $50 each for the duration of their detention. They will also be paid $3,500 for "the expenses of an academic formation or post-secondary studies."
Vincent sentenced both men to life sentences. They will be eligible for parole after they serve at least 25 years.
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