The Crown alleges that four men on trial for first-degree murder formed a quartet of assassins who played various roles in an elaborate plot to kill a Hells Angels debt collector in Mississauga on March 2019, a Brampton Jury heard Friday.
During his closing address to the jury, Prosecutor Brian McGuire argued that the four men “acted as a team. They had one goal: That was the murder,” of Michael Deabaitua-Schulde, 32, of Mississauga, who was shot dead shortly after 11 a.m., moments after exiting a gym at a busy Mississauga plaza on March 11, 2019.
The men were unaware that Deabaitua-Schulde was under surveillance by police as part of a Ontario Provincial Police probe into his suspected involvement in an alleged elaborate illegal gambling operation. Deabaitua-Schulde was observed by police collecting and delivering packages to numerous individuals during the sting operation, called Project Hobart, the jury has heard.
“This wasn’t any botched robbery or collection, but a planned and deliberate murder,” said McGuire, who added that the killing had the hallmarks of a gangland-style murder. “These men were meant to be untraceable.”
On the day of his murder, OPP investigators followed the biker to Huf Gym, in Mississauga, where he did a routine workout. Police saw the biker running toward the gym after he was shot.
The Crown alleges that the two primary shooters were Marckens Vilme and Brandon Reyes, with Joseph Pallotta and Marc Issa El-Khoury serving as getaway drivers at two separate locations. All four are charged with first-degree murder.
“The two shooters was to ensure numerical superiority over their single target,” said McGuire, who added that Pallotta drove his co-accused to the scene of the murder, Huf Gym at the busy plaza at 700 Dundas St. E., near Cawthra Road, where Deabaitua-Schulde was captured on video leaving after his workout.
“The silver revolver that we say was used by Mr. Reyes, has six empty shells in the cylinder,” McGuire said.
Deabaitua-Schulde, 32, a known member of the Niagara Region arm of the Hells Angels, was shot six times at close range, while next to his vehicle and then while running back toward the gym for help after being approached by several people wearing dark clothing outside the gym.
“Call 911!” the bloodied biker gang member is heard pleading as he’s seen on video running into the gym, while his pursuers fire another shot into the facility.