‘Ottawa’ Jury to Begin Deliberation in 2013 Gatineau Stabbing Homicide
It took less than four minutes — a confused flurry of fighting and relative calm and more fighting that left Sheldon O’Grady dead at the age of 18 outside a Hull bar.
Now the man accused of second-degree murder in O’Grady’s death is waiting for a jury to deliver its verdict. Like O’Grady, Mourad Louati was 18 on that Friday night in January of 2013, and he was charged the day after the fight at the former Club Addiction dance bar.
Both young men were from Ottawa.
On Monday, Judge Catherine Mandeville of the Quebec Superior Court charged the jury. Since lawyers for both sides have agreed that Louati stabbed O’Grady, much of her charge dealt with how to decide about issues of self-defence and provocation.
O’Grady was stabbed eight times with something like a kitchen knife, according to the autopsy results, though no weapon was ever recovered.
It started with a loud argument in the bar: Louati, and possibly a friend, against O’Grady and some of his friends. The Crown calls it a “scuffle.”
The club bouncers sent the young men outside where there were some punches thrown but things soon seemed to be settling down and the sides were separating.
Then the fighting started for a second time, and this time it was more violent. Depending on which witness was talking, either Louati ignited the second fight by hitting O’Grady’s friend in the head, or he was walking away peacefully and between four and six of O’Grady’s friends chased and attacked him. Some of the testimony indicates a second man joined in on Louati’s side while others say he was alone.
Louati was the biggest youth in the fight; a witness said he moved like a boxer and initially fought off the combined efforts of several attackers.
O’Grady had left to get his coat from the coat check when the second fight broke out. He returned to the struggle, and Louati struck him several times in the body. Though no one saw a weapon, O’Grady fell, got up and fell again, fatally stabbed.
Security camera video showed the whole episode took less than four minutes.
The Crown said in a final written summation for the jury that Louati was winning the fight and didn’t need to pull a knife. Meanwhile the defence said Louati was a victim of “rage-fuelled aggression” by five attackers, and used the weapon as a last resort.
The jury is scheduled to start deliberations Tuesday morning.