BY PAUL CHERRY
SPECIAL TO THE TRURO DAILY NEWS
MONTREAL, QUE. – A former East Mountain man who acted as the getaway driver in a cold-blooded double murder carried out in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant in Montreal seven years ago, has been found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder following his second trial in the same case.
On Monday, Leslie Greenwood, 48, was also found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder in the deaths of Kirk (Cowboy) Murray and Antonio Onesi. The men were shot in 2010 in the parking lot of a McDonald’s in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, a residential neighbourhood in west-end Montreal.
Greenwood is also scheduled to go on trial in January in another double-murder case that occurred in September 2000 in Centre Burlington, N.S.
In that case, he is charged with the deaths of Barry Kirk Mersereau and Nancy Paula Christensen, who were shot to death in their Centre Burlington home.
Curtis Blair Lynds, the nephew of former Hells Angel member Jeffrey Albert Lynds, previously pled guilty in the Mersereau-Christensen case and is serving a federal sentence.
Greenwood’s first trial on the same charges he was convicted of on Monday, ended in a mistrial in 2015 after the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict. A second trial at the Montreal courthouse began in September before Superior Court Justice Michael Stober, and the verdict came in on the seventh day of deliberation.
“We had the advantage of knowing the strategy of the defence this time,” said Éric de Champlain, who prosecuted the case with Alexandre Gautier, when asked by reporters what the difference was the second time around.
He was referring to how Greenwood testified at length during his first trial and claimed he did not know the two men he gave a lift from Nova Scotia to Montreal – brothers Robert and Timothy Simpson – were going to kill Murray and Onesi. The brothers became collaborating witnesses in the case and testified Greenwood agreed to act as a getaway driver in the murders. Robert Simpson testified that Jeffrey Lynds, a Hells Angel member based in Nova Scotia, wanted Murray dead because of a drug deal that went bad and that Onesi was killed simply because, as Murray’s driver that day, he was an unfortunate witness to what happened.
The brothers also testified the Hells Angel wanted Murray dead because he had failed in an attempt to murder Louis (Le Gros) Vigeant (a drug dealer Lynds owed $40,000 to) on Jan. 20, 2010. Brian (Cato) McGuire, 56, a LaSalle resident, admitted to also having a hand in the plot to murder Murray, and he is currently serving an eight-year prison term he received in the case in 2015.
Jeffery Lynds was also accused of the murders, but committed suicide, at age 42, while detained in the case at a Montreal detention centre on Jan. 27, 2012. Robert and Timothy Simpson pleaded guilty to the first-degree murders of both victims in 2011 and received automatic life sentences.
With the first-degree murder convictions, Greenwood automatically received the same sentence as the Simpsons. But Stober set aside a court date next week to sentence Greenwood for the conspiracy charge he was convicted of as well.
– With Truro Daily News files