Powerful evidence a trio planned to kill a rival Calgary gang member should overcome any doubts of their one-time colleagues’ credibility as a witness, a Crown prosecutor told court Wednesday.
While prosecutor Adam May admitted the witness, a one-time associate of Henry Nguyen, Trong Nguyen and Bryan Balla is a confessed killer who has lied to authorities in the past, his testimony was back up by recorded conversations and other evidence.
“There is a wealth of independent evidence that corroborates the witness evidence,” May told Court of Queen’s Bench while making final arguments in the conspiracy to commit murder trial.
The Crown alleges the three planned to kill FK member Vinh (Fat) Truong in September, 2012 while he visited a Calgary-area cemetery.
The men had been part of a bloody gang war in the city that led to at least 25 homicides between 2002 and 2009 that police have since extinguished.
May said conversations between the three recorded by police both before and after the Sept. 9 date on which Truong was to be murdered show the accused were planning the crime.
He also said police video surveillance and physical evidence such as latex gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints in a car to be used in the crime strongly indicated guilt.
“That evidence is overwhelming,” said May.
“You have the admissions of all the accused in the purported scenarios…surveillance video certainly shows concrete plans to kill Vinh Truong.”
Trong Nguyen’s lawyer Adrian Iovinelli has argued those conversations were merely “s-talk” and that the witness, identified only as A.B., was under pressure from law enforcement to provide evidence against the three accused.
“I’ve referred to Mr. Truong as a meal ticket,” said Iovinelli.
But May argued the accuseds’ own words confirmed A.B.’s testimony, among other evidence.
He also said there was plenty of motivation to conspire to kill Truong.
Truong was convicted of trying to gun down FOB members Tyler MacDonald and Matthew Chubak on Dec. 31, 2007 outside a Sandstone home.
Both men only suffered minor injuries in an act of retaliation for the murder of FK member Mark Kim that same day.
“Vinh Truong wasn’t targeted out of the ether,” May told court.
On Sept. 21, 2015, Henry Nguyen was seriously injured in a hail of bullets as he left his Forest Heights home to attend a court hearing in the conspiracy case.
A masked gunman was seen fleeing the scene in an SUV after Nguyen had been struck by several bullets.
The defence is to deliver its final arguments on Thursday.
on Twitter: @BillKaufmannjrn
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