, February 09, 2010

This article was originally published on, Tuesday February 9, 2010–man-acquitted-of-murder-at-second-trial

Man acquitted of murder at second trial

Tue Feb 09 2010
Bob Mitchell
Staff Reporter

A Mississauga man who was convicted of murder walked out of court a free man late Monday after being found not guilty at his second trial on the same charge.

A jury deliberated for more than 35 hours over five days before acquitting Raman Gill, 28, of second-degree murder in the Aug. 14. 2003 stabbing death of Anastasios (Tom) Garavellos, 25, of Mississauga.

The jurors, who also found Raman not guilty of manslaughter, were never told that another jury had convicted Gill of second-degree murder in 2006.

They also didn’t know the University of Toronto graduate had served 18 months of a life prison sentence when the Ontario Appeals Court overturned his conviction and ordered a new trial.

The verdict suggests the seven men and five women believed that Gill feared for his life and was acting in lawful self defence – rather than in anger – when he stabbed Garavellos, a tool and die maker, on a moonlit Mississauga street just before midnight during the great blackout of 2003.

Defence lawyer Margaret Bojanowska told the month long trial in Brampton trial that her client believed he was threatened by a beer bottle being waved by Garavellos, and that Garavellos was the aggressor in the confrontation.

Crown prosecutor Cam Watson countered that Gill intended to kill or cause grievous bodily harm when he fatally stabbed Garavellos in the abdomen.

In the first trial, jurors weren’t allowed to consider whether Gill was “provoked” and acted “in the heat of passion” after being taunted by Garavellos, a restriction that was not placed on jurors at his second trial.

Gill, then 21, and his friends were looking at the stars through a telescope by the side of a Mississauga street when a deadly confrontation occurred.

Court heard that Garavellos and a friend, who had been drinking and smoking marijuana, drove by Gill and his friends, swearing and calling the stargazers “geeks.”

When an angry Gill pounded on the back of his Mercedes Benz, Garavellos got out of the car with a beer bottle in his hand. Jurors heard that Gill stabbed him as Garavellos stumbled after tussling with members of the group.

Garavellos died of massive internal bleeding.

Gill never took the stand during his second trial.


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