Leader charged in conspiracy didn't know, lawyer says

Lonnie Adams was too busy running 'Mr. Frosty' business, court told

One of three men accused of plotting to kill a Cranbrook drug rival was instead concerned with running his "Mr. Frosty" business of supplying after-hours booze and cocaine and had no knowledge of any murder plan, his lawyer said Thursday.

Don Campbell, who represents Lonnie Adams, began his closing submissions to the jury Thursday afternoon in the murder-conspiracy trial.

The Crown has alleged Adams was part of a criminal organization, a rung higher than co-accused Lorne Carry and Colin Correia.

Campbell said evidence heard in court from recordings made by RCMP show Adams wasn't conspiring to kill a drug rival. Instead, Campbell said those conversations show he was concerned with running an illegal booze and drug operation he called Mr. Frosty.

Prosecutor Ann Katrine Saettler told the jury earlier in the day to "look at Mr. Adams' part and role in the organization."

She also noted that evidence introduced in court showed Adams told key Crown witness Gary Shank that Shank was being brought in for "heavy work."

That heavy work was murder of drug rival Doug Mahon.

"That's a code," Saettler said. "Words are not used on the phone like 'murder' and 'killing' when you're talking about doing this things."

Adams, Lorne Carry and Colin Correia are charged with conspiracy to commit murder in the trial that began Feb. 6.

Carry is also charged with possession and attempt to transfer an AK-47-like automatic rifle, while Correia is charged with possessing and attempting to transfer a restricted handgun.

The trial centres around Shank, a lifelong criminal who testified that he confessed to RCMP that he was hired to kill Mahon by the three men. He was then signed on by RCMP to be a police agent and wear a recording device in various scenarios with the three accused.

But defence lawyer Campbell noted the law is complex. The Crown must prove that once Shank became a police agent, Adams conspired with at least one other person. That person can't be Shank, since he worked for RCMP and was not capable of being a party to any agreement.

Shank testified earlier in the trial that before becoming an agent, Correia and Carry set him up with a semi-automatic rifle and ammunition. His "heavy work" was to kill Mahon for $10,000.

But Campbell said conversations recorded by RCMP during the scenarios show Adams had no knowledge of Shank's eventual arrest in a trailer late in 2009, when he was busted by RCMP in possession of the rifle.

"If Mr. Adams is involved in a conspiracy and he's such an integral part of the organization and has agreed Doug Mahon is to be murdered, don't you think he'd know what happened in the trailer?"

Defence lawyers representing Carry and Correia are scheduled to present closing submissions Friday.

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