Man pleads guilty to lesser charge in Anthony Smith slaying
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is seen posing with Anthony Smith, left, who was gunned down outside a King St. W. club, in a photo released by Gawker.com. One of the other men in the photo is believed to have been injured in the Smith shooting.
A Toronto drug dealer admitted Thursday he killed one Dixon City Bloods gang member and wounded another in a melee outside an entertainment district bar.
Nisar Hashimi shot and killed Anthony Smith and wounded Muhammad Khattak on March 28 after Smith and his associates targeted one of Hashimi’s pals, Crown attorney Mary Misener said in reading an agreed statement of facts after Hashimi, 23, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and aggravated assault.
He had initially been charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder.
He was sentenced to nine years less three months already spent in custody.
Mayor Rob Ford, who was photographed with Smith and Khattak, was not mentioned in the court proceedings.
The photo surfaced when people attempted to sell an alleged cellphone video of Ford smoking crack to U.S. website Gawker. No one has produced the alleged video.
Asked if there was any connection between Smith and Ford, Hashimi’s lawyer, John Struthers, replied, “I can’t really speak to that.”
The shooting was “most probably” over a drug turf battle and his client was “very remorseful and wanted to plead guilty,” Struthers said.
Smith’s mother and sister expressed outrage that his death “was dragged into the Ford story and the gutter” because of the photo.
“It’s disgusting, it’s deplorable, but we have nothing to say about the mayor,” mom Angela Erlington Smith said.
“He never attended Don Bosco, never played football. He was a basketball player and he wanted to be the next Damon Stoudamire,” she said of her son.
“No one cared about his homicide besides a picture,” his sister Kamelia Taylor said. “If it wasn’t for the picture … none of you guys would have cared to hear about what Anthony Smith really was.”
Hashimi and his friends were drinking in the same King St. W. club, the Loki Lounge, as Smith and his group of friends, Misener said. He had also consumed prescription cough syrup.
Smith “received a coded text message” instructing him to “physically attack a member of Hashimi’s group” due to an ongoing animosity between the sides, she said.
Shortly after 2:30 a.m., the two groups converged outside the bar and “became embroiled in a physical confrontation that was instigated by Smith and Khattak attacking one of Hashimi’s group,” Misener told the court. “In the ensuing melee, Hashimi pulled out a handgun and fired several shots in rapid succession.”
Bullets struck Smith in his head and thigh and Khattak in the shoulder area.
“The shooting occurred in the heat of a fight and in the melee he acted instinctively, in the sudden excitement of the moment, while his capacity was diminished by alcohol and drugs,” Misener said.