Christie Blatchford: Kenneth Mark shooting witness shows same ‘civic manhood’ as victim
Lamar Skeete testifies
TORONTO — One night about two years and two months ago, a handsome young fellow you will only ever know as D.M. went out for wings and saw a man about his own age executed on the common street.
D.M. was scared, panicked and so in shock that in the minutes that followed he found himself at the back of the place, bizarrely washing his hands.
But nonetheless he found what Tennyson once called “civic manhood” and what others might describe as the royal jelly.
Having stumbled upon a murder, he didn’t stop to ask what his country could do for him but what he should do for it.
D.M. was interviewed by Toronto police three times, twice in the hours after the shooting and once the following year; he testified at two preliminary hearings, one for each of the two men charged with first-degree murder, and there he was Monday, back in the witness box before Ontario Superior Court Judge Ian Nordheimer and a jury now presiding over the trial of one of those men, Lamar (Ammo) Skeete.
This appearance was essentially round six for D.M., and the time he has spent either telling police or testifying about what he saw that night probably totals more than a week, perhaps two.
It all began about 9:25 p.m. on the evening of Dec. 29, 2009.
D.M. was at a wings-and-pizza joint on Dundas Street West in Toronto. He had ordered and was waiting for his food when a huge man named Kenneth Mark came in to order his dinner; D.M. noticed Mr. Mark’s big headphones.
Kenneth Mark was “executed,” prosecutors say, for breaking a code of silence and talking to Toronto police about gun violence in his neighbourhood.
As D.M. sat in the bay window of the restaurant to eat, he noticed a young black man walk past, heading east, rubbing his hands in the cold.
D.M. at that time believed there was a bus stop just down the street, and guessed the man was headed there.
Then the man came back into his field of vision and walked west on Dundas. Then he came back again, walking east, then doubled back once more. He returned a third time, but this time crossed Dundas Street and seemed to stop near a laundromat on the south side.
D.M. continued to eat his food.
He saw a second young black man, and damned if he didn’t do pretty much just what the first man had done — walked in front of the shop, heading east, then came back, heading west, “back and forth,” once actually peering in through the window.