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Arrests made in connection with triple homicide in Rivière-des-Prairies

Published in 1%er News

The Aug. 2 attack was the deadliest in a series of shootings that plagued eastern Montreal for months.

A Montreal police investigator examines a bullet hole in a car at the scene of a shooting in Montreal's Rivière-des-Prairies district on Tuesday Aug. 3, 2021.
A Montreal police investigator examines a bullet hole in a car at the scene of a shooting in Montreal’s Rivière-des-Prairies district on Tuesday Aug. 3, 2021. Photo by John Mahoney /Montreal Gazette

Two men were charged Wednesday in connection with a triple homicide that occurred two months ago in Rivière-des-Prairies, which proved to be the deadliest among a series of shootings that has plagued eastern Montreal and continued this week.

The men — Marlon Francisco Villa-Guzman, 25, of Montreal North, and Clifford Domercant-Barosy, 26, of Laval — appeared before a judge at the Montreal courthouse through a videoconference. They are charged with the first-degree murders of Jerry Willer Jean-Baptiste, 29, Jafferson Syla, 29, and Molière Dantes, 63. They are also charged with the attempted murders of Jean-Richard Milius and Alexandre Dunn.

The sixth charge both men face alleges they discharged a firearm toward people who were on a property on Perras Blvd., near the intersection of 53rd Ave.

All of the charges are related to a drive-by shooting carried out on Perras Blvd. in early August. It was by far the worst of a long series of shootings that rattled neighbourhoods in eastern Montreal throughout the summer.

Two days after the triple homicide, Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault stood outside Montreal city hall and announced the creation of a special police squad, headed by the Sûreté du Québec and including Montreal police investigators, dedicated to investigating the trafficking of firearms.

The triple homicide was preceded by shootings in the Rivière-des-Prairies—Pointe-aux-Trembles, St-Léonard and Montreal North boroughs. The day after the three men were killed, Montreal police Insp. David Shane speculated the gun violence could be attributed to the loosening of COVID-19 health measures.

“The reopening seems to have worsened the tension between criminal groups that couldn’t access each other before and are now challenging themselves, in a sense,” Shane said.

Despite Guilbault’s announcement, the shootings have continued. This week alone, Montreal police officers have responded to a shooting in Rivière-des-Prairies and an attempted murder in Montreal North , and on Wednesday a man with reported ties to the Hells Angels was shot in Anjou .

A police source told the Montreal Gazette that so far, the triple homicide does not appear to be related to the many other shootings that preceded it.

At least one of the victims killed on Aug. 2 — Jean-Baptiste, a rapper also known as Mackazoe — had known ties to a Montreal street gang. He was associated with the gang Profit Kollectaz, or PK, in videos he posted on social media. A judge who sentenced Jean-Baptiste in 2017 for possession of a firearm and methamphetamine referred to his gang ties while delivering the decision.

Earlier this year, another member of the Profit Kollectaz was targeted in a shooting in eastern Montreal. The same 31-year-old man was later arrested by the Montreal police, and is charged with possessing firearms.

Police sources contacted by the Montreal Gazette on Wednesday were reluctant to link the two men charged with the triple homicide to a rival street gang. Villa-Guzman does not have a criminal record in Quebec, but Domercant-Barosy was on probation when he was arrested Wednesday. It was part of a sentence he received in February 2020, after he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking. He was sentenced to a four-month prison term and two years of probation.

Both men were represented by defence lawyer Hélène Poussard when they appeared in court Wednesday afternoon. A Quebec Court judge agreed to carry their case over to Oct. 29. Poussard asked that the charges not be read into the court record for the time being and was therefore not required to enter a plea for the accused. Both men will remain detained, because they cannot have a bail hearing until their cases are transferred to Superior Court.

The prosecutor in the case told Poussard that, because a police operation related to the homicide investigation was ongoing Wednesday afternoon, the Crown will be able to divulge “much more evidence” to her on Thursday.

A 23-year-old man who was also arrested Wednesday was about to appear before the same judge, but his first court appearance was delayed. He is expected to be charged with being in possession of a restricted firearm without a permit.

The prosecutor asked that the 23-year-old’s appearance be delayed because more charges were expected to be filed against him Wednesday evening.

Domercant-Barosy also faces charges related to a Glock 9 mm pistol seized in Laval on Wednesday.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Montreal police said a 25-year-old woman was also arrested, but was released on a promise to appear in court at a later date. The Montreal police also said the woman is not directly tied to the triple homicide.

Four search warrants were carried out in Laval and Montreal Wednesday morning. Police seized two firearms, ammunition, cellular phones and drugs.

Location: Canada
Writer: Paul Cherry
Source: montrealgazette