Two teenagers have been found guilty of the murder of a shopkeeper who was knifed for his haul of cannabis and left to bleed to death
Dontay Ellis, 19, from Central Drive, Lower Gornal, and James Peake, aged 18, from Southgate Way, Dudley, have been found guilty of killing Jaskaran Kang.
It comes after an eight-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court which started with six men charged with murder and manslaughter of the 24-year-old in Dudley.
Joshua Campbell, aged 18, from King Edmund Street, Dudley, was found not guilty of murder, as was Michael Cunningham, aged 18, of Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Reggie Salmon, aged 21 from Stourbridge Road, Dudley, was found not guilty of manslaughter and conspiracy to rob.
Cunningham and Peake admitted conspiracy to rob, while Ellis and Campbell were found guilty.
Tyrone Johnson, aged 18 from Malthouse Drive, Dudley, was found not guilty of conspiracy to rob.
Jaskaran Kang was repeatedly stabbed after the masked intruders, carrying Rambo and Zombie knives, kicked in the front door to his flat during the early hours of January 6 last year.
The 24-year-old died within minutes of the ‘ferocious attack’ at his home in Stourbridge Road, Dudley.
The victim and and his flatmate Alexander Clarke had been dealing cannabis from Dudley Wines and More, the shop below the flat that Mr Kang ran with his brother, the trial at Birmingham Crown Court had heard.
A bugged conversation during a custody visit between the 19-year-old Eliis and his father revealed the gang had thought that in addition to drugs there was between £30,000 – £50,000 at Mr Kang’s address.
But they fled the first-floor flat in Stourbridge Road with just a haul of cannabis after Mr Kang, was stabbed during a scuffle on the landing above the shop Kang ran with his brother.
Birmingham Crown Court heard that the victim’s flatmate Alex Clark had a blade held to his throat and stomach as he retrieved the drugs from the loft for Cunningham and Joshua Campbell.
Dontay Ellis and James Peake are said to have been responsible for the attack on Mr Kang although it is not known which one delivered the fatal blow.
In the immediate aftermath of the attack, Campbell ‘went mad’ at Ellis, asking him why he had done it, and threatening to ‘smash his face in’, Cunningham told police. By contrast Peake had kept quiet during the ‘rant’, he added.
But Campbell had only ‘assumed’ that Ellis was responsible as neither he nor Cunningham had been in a position to see anything outside on the landing, the jury heard.
Cunningham had told his father in the taped custody conversation that both Peake and Ellis had killed Mr Kang but giving evidence in the dock at Birmingham Crown Court he called it another ‘assumption’ as both were covered in blood and no one else had been on the landing.
In conversations with him he also said Peake and Ellis separately had blamed the other for inflicting the fatal stab wound to Mr Kang’s leg on January 6, severing a major artery.
When quizzed in cross-examination he told the jury of previous occasions when Ellis had carried a knife during a robbery, including an attack in Staffordshire when he had robbed drugs and £2,000 cash about a month before Mr Kang’s murder.