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Brampton man found guilty of first degree murder in death of University of Windsor student


A Brampton man has been found guilty of first degree murder and aggravated assault in relation to a downtown shooting five years ago that killed a University of Windsor student.

Khali Johnson-Phillips, 27, was on trial for his involvement in the fatal shooting at Ouellette and University Avenues on Aug. 27, 2018 that killed 20-year-old Jason Pantlitz-Solomon, a Missisauga resident who had just returned to Windsor to continue his education. His girlfriend, Camille Lufitha-Molima, was also shot but survived her injuries.

Johnson-Phillips pleaded not guilty to the charges, but on Saturday, a jury of 12 people found him guilty. 

He stood motionless in the courtroom as he learned the verdict, while others became emotional — including some members of the jury. 

Alicia Pantlitz, Jason’s mother, says she’s “over the moon” with the verdict and “grateful.”

“Even with this verdict, it can’t bring my boy back, but at least it’s clear to somebody cares about him,” she said.

Pantlitz said she’s very thankful to Windsor police, the Crown attorneys and Windsor Victim Services.

“It’s been five years and they (all) worked so hard and stayed diligent,” she said.

The family is all back in the GTA and told CTV news they are surprised with how quickly the verdict came back.

The trial, which started on Sept. 14, heard from several witnesses including Crown witness Keima Davis-Baynes who was in the car that drove to Windsor the night of the shooting.

Davis-Baynes initially told Windsor police one of the two shooters was Johnson-Phillips. During the trial, she recanted her earlier story and told the courtroom “it was all a lie” in an effort to garner a deal with police. She had originally been facing charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder. In a separate court proceeding, a judge ruled there was insufficient evidence on those charges, but Davis-Baynes will be tried for accessory after the fact of murder at a later date.

The jury also heard testimony from Lufitha-Molima, police who first arrived on scene, a gang expert who detailed the use of hand gestures, jewellery and lingo used in online videos by the murder victim’s twin brother as well as Johnson-Phillips, Pantlitz Solomon’s mother also spoke on the stand.

“The outcome really represents a combination of many, many years of investigation,” said assistant Crown attorney Bryan Pillon. “A lot of hard work on our behalf. But what it really represents is closure for the family of the deceased and for the surviving victim and her family,”

“It was really incredible how Peel Police, Windsor police, our Crown’s office, everyone worked together on a case that was easily the most complex in decades,” assistant Crown attorney Jayme Lesperance continued. “I think that's why you saw the emotion that you did from members in the court room.”

Defence lawyer Michael Moon said his client was shocked and disappointed with the ruling. He says they will be filing an appeal. 

Sentencing is set for Wednesday, Dec. 20. 

-- With files from CTV Windsor's Michelle Maluske and Chris Campbell Top Stories

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