Revenge talk between four men just ‘macho nonsense,’ murder trial hears

Revenge talk just 'macho nonsense,' trial hears

TORONTO — Three men who sent each other text messages advocating revenge against a rival were simply engaging in “macho nonsense,” not plotting a murder, a defence lawyer told a Toronto courtroom Wednesday.

All the messages show is “people play-acting like they’re in a Scorsese movie or something” in order to appear tough, lawyer Alan Gold said.

And while the group may have wanted retribution against John Raposo, they sought to get it by stealing a shipment of drugs worth millions of dollars from him, not by having him killed, he said.

“It was a drug conversation, not a killing conversation,” the lawyer argued in his closing submissions.

Prosecutors allege a thirst for money and revenge led the men, all of whom were involved in cocaine trafficking, to orchestrate a hit on Raposo, who was also a drug trader.

They argue the group believed Raposo had ratted one of them out to authorities, which resulted in a raid.

The Crown alleges Nicola Nero, Martino Caputo and Rabih Alkhalil were the masterminds of the plan, while a fourth accused, Dean Wiwchar, was the contract killer tasked with carrying out the job.

It’s alleged Wiwchar came from Vancouver and dressed up as a construction worker — complete with hard hat, reflective vest and dust mask, as well as a wig — to shoot Raposo in the head and neck in broad daylight.

All four are charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder, to which they have pleaded not guilty.

Raposo was fatally shot on the patio of the Sicilian Sidewalk Cafe on the afternoon of June 18, 2012, as soccer fans gathered to watch a Euro Cup game.

Wiwchar was arrested three days later. Nero and Caputo were arrested in early 2013 â€” the latter in Germany â€” and Alkhalil was arrested in Greece the following year.

During trial, jurors saw a series of encrypted messages intercepted by police as part of an investigation into Nero’s alleged drug activities.

Earlier Wednesday, the Crown argued those messages linked the four accused, who addressed each other by nicknames, and laid out their plans for Rapozo’s death.

In at least one of those messages, Nero called Raposo a “rat” who deserved to die for the harm he had caused.

“This is macho trash talk from a bunch of criminals,” Gold, who represents Nero, told the court.

Saying you want someone dead doesn’t make you a party to murder, he said, arguing there is “simply no evidence of him doing anything.”

What’s more, roughly a quarter of the text conversations presented in court don’t even include Nero because they were sent after May 23, 2012 â€” the day he was arrested on drug charges and put behind bars, where he remains to this day, the lawyer said.

Gold urged the jury not to be swayed by the fact that his client was far from an upstanding citizen, with a “deplorable lifestyle of illegal money,” saying none of that makes him a murderer. 

Defence lawyers for Caputo, Alkhalil and Wiwchar are expected to give their closing submissions Thursday.

Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

IH adds immunization clinic Sunday in Kelowna

Drop-in meningococcal vaccination clinic on today at Community Health & Services Centre

Drivers see some slippery, slushy conditions

Snow in Kelowna Saturday night and into Sunday has made for cautious drivers and pedestrians.

Kelowna’s Gospel Mission serves annual Christmas dinner

Between 700 to 800 meals were served Saturday to the community

Your weekend story highlights

Every Saturday, the Capital News will highlight stories from the week

The Paperboys visit Kelowna

Check out the Rotary Centre for the Arts Jan. 27

All aboard the Summerland Christmas Express

The first train of the Summerland Christmas Express schedule.

‘The Last Jedi’ opens with $220M, 2nd best weekend all-time

As anticipated, the movie fell shy of the opening weekend for J.J. Abrams’ 2015 franchise reboot

Chiefs get weekend split

Kelowna falls to Chase Friday in KIJHL action, then rebounds to beat the Knights

2 couples tie the knot in Australia’s 1st same-sex weddings

West Australian couple Anne Sedgwick, Lyn Hawkins have been together for 40 years

Car flips on roof in West Kelowna

With snow covered roads, a driver and his vehicle leave the road at Louie Drive

B.C. concert promoter bans Nazi symbols at shows

A man was witnessed making a Nazi salute during a heavy metal show at Pub 340

EDITORIAL: Putting #MeToo to work in your workplace

Workers from top to bottom need to stand together against the bully of sexual harassment

Porter blanks Blades in Rockets’ road trip finale

Rookie netminder stops 40 shots in Kelowna’s last game before Christmas break

All aboard the Summerland Christmas Express

The first train of the Summerland Christmas Express schedule.

Most Read