A Toronto jury has acquitted Andrew Douglas, the brother of late Toronto rapper Smoke Dawg, of first-degree murder after they concluded that he acted in self-defence when he fired six shots that killed 30-year-old Michael Lewis.
According to a Toronto Star report, the prosecution argued that Douglas was armed at a memorial barbecue in broad daylight in order to exact revenge on Lewis over a gold chain that belonged to Smoke Dawg.
Douglas’ defence lawyer, Richard Posner, argued the revenge motive didn’t make sense and showed evidence that Lewis was armed when he confronted Douglas at the memorial.
Posner added there was also evidence “indicative of [Douglas’] innocent purpose of going to barbecue.” The evidence in question is a surveillance video showing Douglas spraying himself with cologne before arriving at the memorial.
During the three days of deliberations, the jury remained deadlocked, leading the jurors to ask for eyewitness accounts of the shooting again. Shortly after, they reached a consensus, agreeing that Douglas acted in self-defence and didn’t intend on killing Lewis.
Though the jury acquitted Douglas, he is still serving an eight-year sentence for a gunpoint home invasion and robbery in 2013. He was convicted in 2019.