Canada's Drug Culture: Guilty of Murder in the 1st degree
Barry Artiste, Now Public Contributor
Certainly a life sentence deserving of the crime.
Perhaps a Message that should be applied here by our Justice System here in British Columbia, but won't be, as Drugs and Murder in British Columbia happen so often it has pretty much numbed the citizens to it and then our seemingly complacent judges who do not seem to care either way. To date and to recent memory convictions of this magnitude in this province of British Columbia earn a murderer half the sentence. Typical when lesser crimes warrant less and less time served as the rap sheet gets longer.
Recent media reports from Police show the majority of offenders in our city and walking free on our streets have 30 or more prior convictions. So that certainly speaks volumes of a Justice system either incompetent in applying the full letter of the law or they just do not care period. I would asses both to that fact.
After 12 weeks, 160 exhibits, and 39 witnesses, a jury yesterday found Shant Esrabian guilty of first-degree murder.
Justice Albert Roy sentenced Esrabian, 30, to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years for the brutal slaying of drug dealer Hussein El-Hajj Hassan on Aug. 20, 2004.
Esrabian was sentenced to an additional two years for contempt of court.
The contempt conviction stems from Esrabian's refusal to confirm or deny on the stand whether witness Paul "Sasquatch" Porter -- who lead investigator Sgt. Greg Brown testified is president of the Hells Angels in Ontario -- was his alibi for when the Crown says he was digging El-Hajj Hassan's grave.
Esrabian testified he spent the afternoon of Aug. 20, 2004, trying to recover $2 million in stolen pot plants for "someone powerful."
El-Hajj Hassan's body was discovered in a shallow grave near a wooded pathway in the city's west end a year after his murder. He was found in a crouching position with his boxer shorts around his ankles.
He had been shot through the heart and stomach, his skull had been crushed and his right forearm had been hacked off. While the forearm was buried near his body, the hand was never found.