Man accused in shooting death of Toronto mother was out on bail, has lengthy criminal history: docs

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Man accused in shooting death of Toronto mother was out on bail
WATCH ABOVE: Police have arrested one of three suspects wanted for the fatal shooting of an innocent bystander in Leslieville. As Catherine McDonald reports, court documents find that Damian Hudson was out on bail at the time of his arrest and is a repeat offender – Jul 13, 2023

Toronto police say a man faces a second-degree murder charge after a bystander was struck and killed by stray bullets last week in the Leslieville neighbourhood. Global News has learned the accused was out on bail and has a lengthy criminal history.

The fatal incident, which happened near Queen Street and Carlaw Avenue just after midday on July 7, began with a fight between three men, police said.

Two of the three men had handguns and fired them at each other, investigators said.

A woman walking past the incident was reportedly struck by stray bullets, police said. She was rushed to hospital and later died.

Police identified her as Toronto resident 44-year-old Karolina Huebner-Makurat, a mother of two young children.

Officers arrested Damian Hudson, 32, of Toronto. He is charged with second-degree murder.

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Hudson appeared in court on Thursday. He was ordered not to communicate with a long list of people and was detained until his next court date on July 25.

On Aug. 30, 2019, Hudson was previously sentenced for aggravated assault and weapons dangerous for an altercation with another man that happened on April 30, 2018. He was acquitted of a charge of attempted murder.

He was sentenced to 15 months in jail, after credit for 486 days pre-sentence custody. He was also given a lifetime weapons ban and two years probation.

In the reasons for sentence, Justice Feldman wrote that Hudson, who was 28 years old at the time, had an extensive criminal record.

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“Mr. Hudson is a repeat offender, who has committed assaults, robberies and firearms offences, although the majority of his acts of violence were committed in his earlier years,” Justice Feldman wrote.

“It is of concern that his response to community supervision has been poor,” Feldman continued. “It is aggravating that at the time of these offences, he was on two probation orders. It is disturbing that he was subject to two Weapons Prohibition Orders, the latter in 2011 for life.”

Click to play video: 'Outpouring of support for Caroline Huebner–Makurat, the innocent bystander killed in Leslieville shooting'
Outpouring of support for Caroline Huebner–Makurat, the innocent bystander killed in Leslieville shooting

Global News has learned at the time the latest shooting on Friday he was out on bail for two sets of charges.

He was before the courts on charges of two counts of assault and one count of failing to comply with a probation order from March 2022.

From October 2021, he was charged with assault causing bodily harm and failing to comply with probation.

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On Aug 12, 2022 he was released on bail in the amount of $2,500 and was under house arrest except when accompanied by one of his sureties.

Police said the other two suspects involved in the initial shooting are still at large.

‘This has to stop’: Premier Doug Ford

Ontario Premier Doug Ford released a statement following news of Hudson’s arrest, criticizing the Canadian justice system.

“How many innocent people have to lose their lives before the justice system gets serious about keeping dangerous repeat offenders behind bars?” Ford said.

“This has to stop. No one should be afraid to walk out of their house in broad daylight and get shot by criminals who shouldn’t have been on the streets in the first place.

“Earlier this year, we stepped up with $112 million in new funding to strengthen our bail enforcement system.

Ford said his government will continue working with the feds “to bring meaningful bail reform and ensure police have the resources they need to keep our communities safe.”

Ottawa has introduced a bill that aims to reform the bail system. It would place a reverse onus on serious repeat violent offenders and those facing weapons charges. That would mean it’s up to those defendants to show the court why they should be released on bail, as opposed to the Crown having to show why they shouldn’t be.

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Global News also reached out to the federal government for comment on Ford’s statement, but did not immediately receive a response.

‘Caroline was a beacon of light’

Huebner-Makurat’s husband released a statement following news of the arrest Thursday.

Adrian Makurat thanked members of the Toronto Police Service for their work in making an arrest and also showed appreciation for bystanders who tried to help his wife before first responders arrived.

“Their heroic efforts in such a challenging and distressing situation will forever be remembered and cherished,” he said.

“I also extend my deepest thanks to the first responders.”

Caroline Huebner-Makurat. Supplied

Makurat said their family’s focus at this time has been on supporting their young girls.

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“To the remarkable local community and individuals from around the world, I cannot thank you enough for your support during this profoundly difficult time,” he said.

“Your acts of kindness and the outpouring of support have been a source of strength and solace for my family. Caroline was a beacon of light, and the compassion shown by each of you reflects the love and empathy she would have extended to others in a similar situation.”

A vigil to honour Huebner-Makurat is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Monday at Jimmie Simpson Park.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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