Ibrahim Ali found guilty of first-degree murder

Jurors have found Ibrahim Ali guilty of first-degree murder in the death of a 13-year-old Burnaby girl.

Ibrahim Ali has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2017 death of a 13-year-old Burnaby girl.

The girl can’t be named due to a publication ban. The child’s body was found in July of 2017 at Burnaby’s Central Park, hours after her mother reported the girl missing.

The verdict, delivered at BC Supreme Court in Vancouver Friday, came just a day after deliberations began. The judge spent much of Thursday giving instructions to the jurors, before they were excused.

The jury took a brief break Friday morning to seek clarifications on the differences between first- and second-degree murder, and manslaughter.

Justice Lance Bernard told them murder would mean Ali deliberately caused the girl’s death or meant to cause her bodily harm and knew that this was likely to cause death. Bernard said it would qualify as first-degree if it happened while Ali committed or attempted to commit a sexual assault against the girl.

Jurors informed the judge they had reached a verdict only moments after this clarification.

A courtroom sketch of Ibrahim Ali
A courtroom sketch of Ibrahim Ali. (OMNI / CityNews Image)

There was little reaction from the gallery when the verdict was delivered.

The Crown’s case against Ali has been focused on the discovery of his semen inside the girl. Ali was arrested on Sept. 7, 2018, after a DNA match was confirmed.

The trial, which has seen several delays, was originally expected to last three months. However, it has now been more than eight since Ali pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

Closing arguments took place last week, days after Ali’s lawyer, Kevin McCullough, said the defence would not be calling any evidence, claiming the Crown hadn’t proved its case against Ali.

Crown attorney Daniel Porte said during his closing arguments that it had been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Ali dragged the girl into a wooded area of Central Park, sexually assaulted her, and then killed her.

Meanwhile, McCullough delivered shocking statements during his closing remarks, saying the version of the child’s lifestyle presented by the Crown was “at best, a partial picture” and “at worst, a lie.”

With files from The Canadian Press

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