October 7, 2007
4 charged in teen’s stabbing death[singlepic=15,320,240,,right]
Hours after Nihal Badhanage buried his eldest son yesterday, Peel Region police announced they had charged four men in connection with the 16-year-old’s murder.
Three men, one of whom is already in jail on an unrelated matter, have been charged with first-degree murder. A fourth was charged with obstruction of justice.
Akila Geegana-Badhanage was swarmed and stabbed to death by a group of youths two Fridays ago on his way to an after-school job at Bramalea City Centre. The Grade 12 Brampton student, who had a 90 per cent average last year, was preparing to apply to the University of Waterloo electrical engineering program.
Nihal Badhanage had brought the family to Canada from Sri Lanka five years ago. Knowing charges were laid, he called for tough penalties for the culprits.
“This is not because of my anger, I don’t have any anger ‚” ¨ it’s (to protect) future generations,” he said.
But the grieving father said the arrests gave him no relief. He wants to know why his son was stabbed.
“I just want to know the reason.”
Jamal Johnson, 19, of Brampton, Omari White, 18, and another male already in jail for an unrelated matter are charged with first-degree murder.
Justin Jack, 22, was charged with obstructing police.
“We can’t name the one in jail for legal reasons,” said Const. Adam Minnion, adding that police expect to release his name next week.
A nationwide arrest warrant had been issued for White, but he turned himself in to Peel police around 8 p.m. last night.
White, who is known to police, contacted defence attorney Rajiv Maharaj of the law office of prominent Brampton lawyer Gary Batasar yesterday afternoon to make arrangements to turn himself in.
“It’s my understanding there was a first-degree murder arrest warrant in place for him and he contacted our office because he wanted to do the right thing,” Batasar said last night. “I’m not aware of what the specific allegations against him are but we’ll deal with them as they are presented to us.”
White is to make his first appearance in a Brampton court today.
Johnson and Jack made brief appearances in Brampton court yesterday and have been remanded into custody.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Homicide Bureau at 905-453-2121, ext. 3205, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS/8477.
Attack on Teen Results