Verdict temporarily sealed in Oak Park barbershop murder

OAK PARK (KUSI) — 5/16/2016 — A verdict was reached Monday but kept temporarily sealed in the murder trial of the accused gunman in the ambush shooting of an Oak Park barber, who  prosecutors allege was killed on orders of a Jamaican drug boss.

Dion Chambers, 51, is accused in the May 9, 2014, killing of Lamar Canady.

Superior Court Judge Charles Rogers said the verdict in Chambers’ case would be revealed once a separate jury deliberating the fate of a second man, Ian Patrick Guthrie, makes a decision.

Deputy District Attorney Sophia Roach alleges the defendants worked for a Jamaican man, Omar Grant, who ordered the "hit” on the 32-year-old Canady out of jealousy and revenge because both Grant and Canady were involved with the same woman and Grant felt Canady was responsible for the theft of a large amount of marijuana.

Both Chambers and Guthrie are seen in surveillance video in the moments leading up to the murder of Canady, a father of four who was shot more than a dozen times, the prosecutor said.

Chambers’ attorney, Ryan Pacyga, claims police failed to follow up on investigating a man who worked in Canady’s barbershop and was there at the time of the murder. Pacyga said Chambers was in the barbershop, but did not pull the trigger.

Roach said Guthrie, 40, was the lookout who went to the scene the day before the shooting to map out the area.

The prosecutor alleged that Guthrie called Chambers to let him know when Canady stuck his head out of the barbershop.

Guthrie’s attorney, Gretchen von Helms, said her client is a drug dealer but said he was not the man in the video who was supposedly calling Chambers.

The defendants — also from Jamaica — were tracked down through their phones and found to have fake Florida driver’s licenses, Roach said.

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 Link: 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