Long "Owen" Sha kicked in head 20 to 30 times

Whitby teen kicked in head 20 to 30 times, murder trial learns

Three Toronto residents accused in death at Markham bar

Apr 03, 2010 – 04:30 AM

News Durham Region
NEWMARKET — Clapping and singing could be heard during the brutal beating of a Whitby teenager inside a Markham karaoke bar, a murder trial jury heard.

During her opening statement April 1, Newmarket Crown Lee-Anne McCallum told the nine-man, three-woman jury, hearing the murder case against Toronto residents Peijian “Steven” Shi, Zhi-Hang “Justin” Ma and Andrew Cantelon, all 21, Long “Owen” Sha, 19, was beaten unconscious on May 30, 2007 inside MHQ Karaoke Box at Pacific Mall.

He was kicked in the head 20 to 30 times, pistol whipped and struck with a microphone.

The three accused men have pleaded not guilty.

Toronto resident Rodney O’Brian Forde, 27, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in January. He was sentenced in March to six years and probation. After credit for time served, he was released.

Also Thursday, Salman Qteifan, 21, of Toronto, pleaded guilty to manslaughter. He was initially charged with murder. He will be sentenced at a later date.

Two other men, Peng “Victor” Li, 27, of Markham, and a 20-year-old Toronto man are still wanted by York Regional Police for their roles in the fatal beating. The 20-year-old cannot be identified because he was only 17 at the time of Mr. Sha’s death.

Ms. McCallum, meanwhile, painted a graphic picture of the 2007 beating. Inside the MHQ Karaoke Box room, the curtains were drawn, the music was turned up and the lights were turned down when several attackers turned on Mr. Sha, Ms McCallum told jurors. Mr. Sha’s friend, Stephen Yu, a 20-year-old Richmond Hill resident at the time, was also in the room.

Mr. Sha planned to meet Mr. Shi at the Kennedy Road and Steeles Avenue-area mall to sell the Toronto man about $800 worth of marijuana, court heard. However, Mr. Shi used the promise of a drug deal to lure Mr. Sha to the mall and rob him. Mr. Sha and Mr. Shi are believed to have known each other and are believed to have had a strained relationship.

Mr. Yu, Mr. Sha and Mr. Shi met in a karaoke room at about 8 p.m, Mr. Sha and Mr. Shi began speaking in Mandarin, which Mr. Yu could not understand, and appeared to be arguing, jurors were told. Mr. Shi then made a cellphone call and six other men entered the room, Ms McCallum said.

During the beating of Mr. Sha someone called out “nice kick” in English and laughing, clapping and singing could be heard, Ms McCallum said. It is not clear who made the comment.

Mr. Yu, who did not know any of the men who stormed the karaoke room, had been ordered to sit in a corner and was robbed of his jewelry, cellphone and bank card, court heard.

Mr. Cantelon, Mr. Qteifan and Mr. Forde did not beat Mr. Sha, the Crown said.

Photos taken after the beating show Mr. Sha slouched against a sofa with his head, face and clothing covered in blood.

Mr. Sha, who suffered a brain blood clot and severe injuries to his face, never regained consciousness, court heard. He lapsed into a coma and died three days later June 2, 2007.

Mr. Cantelon’s lawyer, Tony Bryant told the jury that Mr. Li and the 20-year-old man beat Mr. Sha to death.

Mr. Cantelon did not touch or talk to either Mr. Sha or Mr. Yu, Mr. Bryant told the court.

“The white guy sat on the couch,” he said of his client.

He urged the jury to carefully consider the actions of his client.

“Speculation and guesswork have no place here,” he said. “What the evidence will show confirms his plea.”

The trial continues.

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