An Ontario Superior Court jury found a man to be guilty of two counts of second-degree murder in the 2018 shooting of Toronto rapper Smoke Dawg and brand manager Ernest Modekwe.
Abdulkadir Handule, who was 22 at the time of the shooting, is set to be sentenced at 10 a.m. on May 27 after he pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder in the trial—which initially began in November. Second-degree murder charges in Canada come with a mandatory sentence of life in prison and no parole for at least 10 years, per CBC.
“It’s been trying times in society the last two years and in my view, at times when society is under different types of stress, it’s more important than ever that the justice system still be able to operate as best it can,” Justice Brian O’Marra told the court. “And you have been exemplary in your dedication to the task.”
Smoke Dawg, AKA Jahvante Smart, was 21-years-old at the time of his death, and Modekwe was 28, when they were both gunned down at Queen Street West on June 30, 2018. Smart was shot in his neck and legs, while Modekwe was shot in the neck, per CBC. A bystander was also shot but survived.
Handule, who goes by the rap name 21Neat, was arrested roughly a year after the shooting by authorities in British Columbia over unrelated charges. Handule’s lawyer Dirk Derstine said Handule and his family are “deeply disappointed in the verdict,” and that he has already been asked to start an appeals process.
Smart had opened for Drake on his Boy Meets World Tour, and his most popular song on Spotify, “Trap House,” has earned over 4 million streams on the platform 7 years after its release.