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Thursday, 10 March 2011

Mark Totten was called by the prosecution at the trial of Warren Abbey — who, court has heard, had ties to the Malvern Crew.

08:25 |

teardrop tattoo is a symbol that signifies someone has killed a rival gang member, a gang expert told a murder trial Wednesday.

Mark Totten was called by the prosecution at the trial of Warren Abbey — who, court has heard, had ties to the Malvern Crew.

The Crown has alleged he fatally shot Simeon Peter on Jan. 8, 2004, wrongly thinking he was a member of the rival Galloway Boys street gang. Abbey, 25, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

Totten explained that the teardrop tattoo has other meanings, including that someone close to the person bearing the mark has died of natural causes or homicide.

Totten said the tattoo can also indicate someone has served 10 years “of hard time” in a federal prison.

The prosecution is alleging Abbey’s barely-visible teardrop tattoo indicates he killed someone and that he received the mark after Peter was slain.

Crown attorneys Julie Battersby and Kim Motyl alleged Abbey targeted Peter, 19, believing he might be a rival gang member who had terrorized his neighbourhood.

In her opening last month, Battersby said Abbey also had a “personal beef” because he believed Peter was one of several bandits who had robbed him days earlier on New Year’s Eve.

Totten, who has PhD in sociology and concentrated his studies on youth gangs, has been counselling and studying gang members for almost 30 years. Now an internationally renowned expert, Totten gives instructions on gang prevention and intervention at the Canadian Police College.

The prosecution is alleging two other Malvern Crew members, driving in their Honda Accord, spotted Peter but neither had a firearm so they picked up Abbey, who had a gun.

The two associates dropped off Abbey, who followed Peter as he was walking with his girlfriend in broad daylight in the Morningside-Sheppard Aves. area, court heard.

The girlfriend was walking faster than Peter since she was cold and eager to get home. She heard gunshots as bullets pierced Peter’s neck, chest, knee and hip.

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