A man has been found guilty of the 2018 murder of rapper Smoke Dawg and his manager in Toronto.
Smoke Dawg and manager Ernest Modekwe were murdered outside the Cube nightclub in Toronto on June 30, 2018. A bystander was also shot in the incident, but survived their injuries.
Abdulkadir Handule, who raps under the moniker 21Neat, pled not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, but was convicted of two counts of second-degree murder by an Ontario Superior Court jury.
The trial began in November and Handule, who was 22 years old at the time of the shooting, will be sentenced on May 27.
Judge Brian O’Marra told the court (via Complex): “It’s been trying times in society the last two years and in my view, at times when society is under different types of stress, it’s more important than ever that the justice system still be able to operate as best it can. And you have been exemplary in your dedication to the task.”
Handule’s lawyer Dirk Derstine said they are already looking into appealing the decision, and that Handule and his family are “deeply disappointed in the verdict”.
Following his death, known associates of Smoke Dawg, including Drake and Mustafa the Poet, took to social media to pay tribute.
Taking to Twitter, Mustafa the Poet wrote: “The worst day of my life, I somehow keep finding a new worst. Smokey is gone, may our prayers follow him to heaven.”
Sharing an Instagram story with a picture of his fellow Toronto rapper, Drake wrote: “All these gifts and blessed souls and inner lights being extinguished lately is devastating. I wish peace would wash over our city. So much talent and so many stories we never get to see play out. Rest up Smoke.”
Drake via his IG story. RIP Smoke Dawg 💔 pic.twitter.com/xRnKVZzncX
— Drake Direct (@DrakeDirect_) July 1, 2018
One of Toronto’s rising stars, Smoke Dawg first rose to prominence in 2015 with the track ‘Still’.
After collaborations with Skepta and French Montana, the rapper hit the news once more when he brought out Drake and Skepta during a gig in London in February 2017.