The charges have been stayed against an Alberta man in the death of Anthony Smith, a 21-year-old who appeared in an infamous photo with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
Hanad Mohamed, 23, was originally charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder in the shooting death of Mr. Smith. He later saw those charges reduced to accessory after the fact to manslaughter, accessory to discharging a firearm, and accessory to aggravated assault. On Tuesday, the three remaining charges were stayed.
Charges that are stayed, as opposed to dropped, can be brought back to court within a year. After that one-year period, the Crown can choose to charge the accused with the same offence at any time.
Mr. Smith, 21, was gunned down after a dispute between two groups of men outside of a club on King Street West in the early morning hours of March 28. Another young man, Muhammad Khattak, 19, was also wounded, but survived.
Another young man, Nisar Hashimi, 23, was also originally charged with murder in Mr. Smith’s death, but had his charges reduced, and pleaded guilty to manslaughter in July.
The case has received intense media attention after an image surfaced of Mr. Ford standing with his arms around several of the young men present at Mr. Smith’s killing.
In the photo, a hoodie-wearing Mr. Ford is seen smiling with Mr. Smith, Mr. Khattak and a fourth man, Monir Kasim.
Mr. Mohamed's lawyer, Fariborz Davoudi, said that the charges were stayed because there was no reasonable prospect of conviction.
Mr. Fariborz said that his client has been living in Alberta since he was released on bail, and will be happy to hear the news.
"Now, he will move on and resume his normal life," he said.
Police have since charged Mr. Khattak and Mr. Kasim with drug trafficking, and accused both of being members of the Dixon City Bloods street gang. Both men were arrested in Project Traveller, a year-long police operation to dismantle the Dixon City Bloods, culminating in a massive series of police raids in Etobicoke in June.
The image emerged alongside reports of a video that allegedly shows the mayor smoking crack cocaine.