Third GTA man charged in connection with deadly Wasaga Beach stabbing
BARRIE, ONT. -- Ontario Provincial Police have now charged a new suspect with murder in connection with a deadly stabbing in Wasaga Beach on Sunday, and downgraded charges against two other men, all from the GTA.
Huronia West OPP issued a release Wednesday, stating it charged 25-year-old Micha Duran of Brampton with second-degree murder in the death of Mustafa Khaleel.
"Interviews have been conducted and evidence reviewed. Because of all the hard work, we were able to piece together what so tragically occurred on Sunday the 13th and have identified the person responsible for the stabbing of Mustafa Khaleel," OPP Detective Inspector Martin Graham told CTV News.
According to police, Khaleel, 23, was found dead on Beach Area 1 with stab wounds. OPP Detective Inspector Martin Graham said there was no evidence the victim knew his alleged killer but said the violence wasn't random.
"It seems to have occurred between two groups of people that happened to be on the beach late on the evening of Saturday into Sunday," Graham explained.
Roughly 30 people were on the beach at the time, but police said it's unclear how many were involved in the deadly altercation.
Police said two other people were injured in the fight. They were treated and released from the hospital.
Police also said the murder charges against a 21-year-old Etobicoke man and a 25-year-old Brampton man had been withdrawn. The OPP said each is now charged with one count of assault with a weapon.
"Two previous persons, a twenty-one-year-old and a twenty-five-year-old, two adult males who had previously been charged with second degree murder in this case. They had their charges withdrawn in the Ontario court of justice in Barrie today. They were subsequently charged with assault with a weapon, each one count. And they were released on conditions," Graham outlined to CTV News.
Both were released from police custody following a court appearance.
"The evidence supported the charges as is being laid in this case to this point. While unusual to withdraw charges it felt necessary when the evidence that was previously had did not meet the standard required," Graham clarified.
Duran has been remanded into custody following his first court appearance on Wednesday.
The OPP credits the help from the public to help find those responsible in this case. "As with any investigation the identification of witnesses and those persons having information in any crimes is vital to the solving and bringing to a successful conclusion to any investigation and this is no different. Members of the public have come forward in addition to video that has been provided to us by the town of Wasaga Beach have aided greatly in identifying what happened in this incident," Graham said.