Winnipeg – Jurors in the Devin Hall murder trial heard more about a potential motive for the killing of a man inside a Salisbury House restaurant.
A friend of Jeffrey Lau, 23, told police Lau dealt cocaine in large quantities and didn’t like sharing his profits with suppliers from Winnipeg or Vancouver.
That friend, Justin Latinecz, told police he wasn’t aware of any drug debt.
Jurors were shown a videotaped statement Latines gave to police. He was one of five friends with Lau when he was shot dead at the Pembina Highway Salisbury House in September of 2012.
Latinecz described Lau as someone who kept to himself and trusted few people fully.
Another of the friends in the restaurant was also shot but survived. He told court earlier in the trial the shootings were a targeted hit on Lau.
Latinecz was not able to tell police who he thought may have committed the crime but said he saw the shooter get into the backseat of a grey car and take off.
He also described 10 “asian guys” who were with the group of friends earlier in the night but didn’t come to Salisbury House. He said they too were drug dealers.
Hall, 28, is on trial for first degree murder. He’s also charged with attempted murder in connection to allegedly shooting the other man who was sitting beside Lau.
Trial Takes Another Twist
Shortly after jurors were shown Latinecz’ statement to police, they were told he was dead.
Latinecz was murdered himself in 2013, court heard. The case remains unsolved with no one arrested.
Hall’s lawyer, Martin Glazer, pointed out potential similarities between the two killings. Both victims were shot here in Winnipeg and in both cases, a second person was also hit but survived. Latinecz was gunned down outside his house on Essex Avenue in St. Vital.
Glazer told court Latinecz was killed almost exactly one year after Lau was shot and he said Hall could not have been responsible because he was already in custody.
The trial continues Friday with several more witnesses expected to take the stand. It’s scheduled to last until the end of June.