'My actions were lawful': convicted shooter maintains innocence at sentencing hearing
WINDSOR -- A Windsor man convicted of manslaughter after a double shooting is maintaining his innocence in Superior Court.
Dia Hanan, 37, addressed the judge for 15 minutes Tuesday morning during sentencing submissions.
Hanan was convicted by a jury in November 2019 of manslaughter and two illegal weapon offences.
At the trial, he maintained his innocence, saying he was acting in self-defence on Dec. 23, 2015 when two men were shot at Hanan’s home at 187 Oak St.
Hanan says the two men came to his home, armed with a gun, to borrow money that night.
“I wish they got their money elsewhere, peacefully,” he told the court.
Alekesji Guzhavin, 30, was shot to death. Gregory Henriquez was shot in the back, survived but is paralyzed from the waist down.
“I been done wrong. That night I never wanted any of this to happen,” Hanan told the court Tuesday in his remarks before sentencing.
Hanan read from prepared notes for 15 minutes from the accused box in the courtroom.
He thanked his family and friends “for believing in me and my innocence” and his three children “for keeping Daddy strong.”
Hanan told the court he was physically abused as a child, but it was witnessing the stabbing murder of his older brother, in November 1998 that made him “mad at the world” and he says he “made mistakes.”
During the month-long jury trial, Hanan argued he only acted in self-defence when Guzhavin and Henriquez showed up at his home, demanded more money and threatened his family.
Hanan admits he shot the two men, but says his actions were lawful because “the gun was pointed at my chest” before Hanan and Guzhavin got into a fight. Hanan says he managed to get the Glock out of Guzhavin’s hands.
“If I’m wrong for saving my life and protecting my family, especially my children, so be it.” Hanan told Justice Kirk Munroe.
During the trial, Crown attorneys argued Hanan had the gun the whole time and shot both men because he didn’t want to give them any more money.
Evidence revealed a total of nine shots were fired that evening, including two bullets which were fired into Henriquez’s back, as he tried to run away.
During his address to the court, Hanan’s wife sobbed in the gallery while Guzhavin’s sister shook her head repeatedly.
Hanan’s remarks comes as the final portion of the sentencing hearing.
His lawyer, Christopher Uwagboe, is asking for a prison term of six to 10 years which he says is “entirely appropriate” and should not be seen as a “short” sentence.
“The jury found that Mr. Hanan steps outside of the defence of self-defence by the number of shots. There were nine shots and maybe they saw that as being excessive for self-defence,” says Uwagboe.
Uwagboe has asked the judge to consider Hanan was not facing any criminal charges at the time of the shooting, unlike the two victims.
“One (Guzhavin) was on bail for two attempted murders, the other one (Henriquez) was on bail for two drug trafficking situations and had only been in Canada for months,” according to Uwagboe.
Assistant Crown attorney Jayme Lesperance is asking Munroe for a sentence of 17 years, but admits 14 years is “the lowest range” in his opinion.
“Mr Hanan was the principle. Mr Hanan was the shooter,” argued Lesperance, saying the shooting happened with a Glock, in a residential neighbourhood and there was at least one stray bullet.
While Uwagboe doesn’t agree with the high range of sentence the Crown is seeking, he understands the importance of denunciation and deterrence.
“You shouldn’t be arming yourself with illegal guns in our community and I can appreciate why they are making that submission,” says Uwagboe.
Munroe says he will render a decision on Monday, March 2.
When his sentence is over, CTV News has learned Hanan faces potential deportation.
Hanan is a “convention refugee” and not a Canadian citizen.
Uwagboe tells CTV News Hanan’s family left Jordan when he was a child, first going to the United States, before immigrating to Canada when Hanan was a young teenager.
Uwagboe says after serving his sentence, Hanan now faces potential deportation because a conviction longer than six months deems him “inadmissible” to Canada.
“If he gets deported, he’s not going to see his family, and that’s what I think in my discussions with him weighing heavily on him,” says Uwagboe.