A jury has found two of three men accused of the first degree murder of 25-year old Toronto music journalist Zack Noureddine guilty on the lesser charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter.
Twenty-eight-year-old Patrick Smith was convicted of second degree murder and assault on Noureddine’s co-worker, Mitchell Conery. His co-accused, 34-year-old Matthew Moreira, has been convicted of manslaughter and robbery of Connery.
The jury delivered its verdict after less than a day of deliberations.
At the beginning of the trial, Smith tried to plead guilty to manslaughter and assault and Moreira tried to plead guilty to the attempted robbery of Conery but the crown attorney rejected those pleas.
It was on Dec. 29, 2015 when Noureddine and Conery, door to door salesmen at a telecom company, were beaten up in an alley near Yonge Street and Lola Road. They were walking back to their car after going for a drink at The Little Sister Bar. The jury heard that the accused were complete strangers.
Noureddine died from head injuries sustained during the attack.
A third man, 32-year-old William Cummins, is also facing a first-degree murder charge in connection with the fatal beating. But Cummins fired his lawyer after the first trial ended in a mistrial. His case is back before the courts on Dec. 18.
Sentencing for Smith and Moreira is set for March 29, 2019.