Oak Park barbershop murder trial holds opening statement

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — 4/20/2016 — Opening statements are started Wednesday in the trial of two men accused of ambushing and killing an Oak Park barbershop owner nearly two years ago.

Peter Johnson, 51, and Ian Guthrie, 40, are charged with murder in the May 9, 2014, death of Lamar Canady, a 32-year-old father of four. Separate juries will hear the evidence against Johnson and Guthrie.

During a preliminary hearing last year, San Diego police Detective James Jones testified that surveillance video showed Johnson – whom prosecutors say real name is Dion Chambers, according to prosecutors — entering a liquor store next to the Official Cutz barbershop at 54th and Redwood streets just minutes before Canady was gunned down.

RELATED: Two men arrested in shooting of Oak Park barbershop owner

No murder weapon was found, but Johnson’s fingerprints and DNA were found on a beer can he handled in the liquor store, the detective testified.

Jones said the victim was shot 16 times, including eight bullet wounds to the head.

Family members said Canady was a former Crips gang member but left his gang years ago. They suspect the motive for his killing was retaliation because Canady was killed on a day associated with rival gang retribution.

Deputy District Attorney Sophia Roach alleged that Johnson was a reputed member of a well-organized criminal organization who came to San Diego a few days before May 9, 2014, to carry out the murder.

Guthrie — an alleged member of a high-level international drug trafficking operation — acted as a lookout in the killing, Roach said.

Johnson faces 50 years to life in prison if convicted of murder and the use of a gun. Guthrie faces 25 years to life behind bars if convicted.

4/21/2015 — Following the ambush and fatal shooting of a barbershop owner in Oak Park almost a year ago, the two men accused of the killing will face a preliminary hearing Tuesday morning.

50-year-old Peter Johnson and 39-year-old Ian Patrick Guthrie are both charged in the death of Lamar Canady, who was killed on May 9, 2014.

While it was initially believed that the killing was a random act, authorities now believe it to possibly be gang-related. Canady was a former Crip, according to his family, but left the gang years ago. The day he was killed, however, was a day that had been associated with gang retaliation.

The deputy district attorney believes that Johnson arrived in San Diego just days prior to the murder. Johnson, an alleged member of a criminal organization, is believed to have carried out the murder, while Guthrie served as his lookout.

A judge will decide after the hearing if there is enough evidence for the two men to stand trial.

Categories: Local San Diego News