The fourth day of the murder trial involving the death of Jason Pantlitz-Solomon, a University of Windsor student aged 20, saw the defence attorney throwing challenging questions at the lead investigator regarding his determination in framing their client as the guilty party.
Kahli Johnson-Phillips faces multiple charges including first-degree murder, attempted murder, and aggravated assault at the Windsor’s Superior Court of Justice.
Security footage showing a white Nissan Ultima moving through downtown Windsor before parking on Chatham Street East on August 27, 2018, was presented to the jury on Monday’s proceeding.
Within a span of 60 seconds, two individuals were captured emerging from the vehicle, shooting Pantlitz-Solomon near the intersection of Ouellette Avenue and Wyandotte Street East, and escaping back to the vehicle before fleeing Windsor. One of the suspects, wearing a hood, could be seen taking a tumble on the Ouellette Avenue pavement.
Lead investigator Sgt. Scott Roberts claimed during his testimony on Monday that the person who tripped suffered injuries to their arm. Yet Roberts’ additional revelations provoked skepticism from defense attorney Michael Moon.
Doubts arose as Roberts disclosed that the white Nissan was stopped by police in the Peel Region on the same day. Upon stopping the vehicle, police discovered a man hidden in a dumpster in the vicinity, who bore visible injuries akin to those one would sustain from a fall onto concrete. Despite this, the man was deemed unrelated to the murder and the Nissan Ultima, following the conclusion of the investigators.
Johnson-Phillips, a 23-year-old resident of Brampton, was arrested and charged 14 months later. Roberts asserted that DNA evidence amassed by officers from the Peel Region following the stop led them to Johnson-Phillips.
Alicia Pantlitz, the mother of the victim, also testified on Monday, with the prosecution focusing much of her questioning on her other son, Jason’s twin brother, Jerome’s burgeoning rap career.
She delineated her two sons as having contrasting personalities. Jerome, who was featured in three music videos revolving around firearms and wealth, which were shown to the jury, had allegedly developed ties with a gang. On the other hand, Jason distanced himself from this dangerous lifestyle and relocated to Windsor, adhering to his mother’s advice to escape the escalating violence near their home in Mississauga.
When confronted with knowledge of Jerome’s statement to police pertaining to a separate murder investigation, Pantlitz seemed taken aback, having been oblivious to such a revelation.
The trial is set to recommence on Tuesday and is anticipated to continue for several months.