Kitchener – An aspiring hip-hop artist and his bodyguard, both from Hamilton, pleaded guilty to lesser crimes in connection with a fatal brawl outside a Cambridge club in late 2011.
Here’s the drop:
But the case was resolved when Seth admitted to manslaughter — which does not involve intent to kill — for inflicting the fatal wound, while Moore pleaded guilty to four counts of assault with a knife.
Reading from an agreed statement of facts, Crown prosecutor Marg Janzen said the two men and four other people travelled to the event from Hamilton about a week before Christmas.
Moore and two others in the group — Daniel Gordon and a youth who can’t be identified — were scheduled to perform. Seth was invited along to help protect them.
Afraid of running into a man he had robbed a few years earlier, Moore brought a knife with him.
Also at the event were two aspiring Cambridge rappers, Cory Vandersanden and Richard Rebelo, along with a group of supporters.
Court was told members of the Hamilton group and the Cambridge group socialized and got along until well after midnight, when the mood turned ugly. While people were outside during a break, tempers flared when Seth apparently made comments to a woman who was the girlfriend of a member of the Cambridge group.
Moore tried to calm things down by saying Seth didn’t realize the woman had a boyfriend.
But when Rebelo extended his hand to shake and settle the dispute, Janzen said, Seth punched him instead. That triggered a brawl with as many as 30 participants.
After he was hit in the face with a brick, Moore pulled the knife and threatened Rebelo with it. He also nicked Rebelo’s brother, Nathan, in the neck and caused a small stab wound in the back of a drunk man who stumbled into his way.
The crowd dispersed when somebody yelled that knives were involved and police had been called.
Seth, Moore and the rest of their group were in a car ready to leave when they were challenged by Batten, a friend of the Cambridge rappers.
The Hamilton men then got out of the car and the fight resumed. Moore used his knife to “poke” Batten, a competitive martial artist.
Janzen said Batten managed to knock the knife away from Moore, but Seth picked it up and stabbed him in the chest. Batten collapsed in the parking lot and was later pronounced dead at Cambridge Memorial Hospital.
Seth, Moore and two other suspects were arrested over the next several days.
Police recovered the knife, thrown out the window, and found Batten’s blood in the car after it was seized in Hamilton.
Photographs taken by a man at the concert and posted on Facebook played a key role in identifying the suspects.
Arrested first, Moore admitted having a knife, but blamed Seth for the fatal stabbing.
Seth was arrested the next day and admitted stabbing Batten once.