Man found guilty of 2nd degree murder outside Lucky Bar

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A 29-year-old man has been found guilty of second-degree murder for the stabbing death of another man outside Victoria’s Lucky Bar in 2022.

After 16 hours of deliberating, late Friday afternoon, a jury found Mohamed Omar guilty of killing 30-year-old John Dickinson outside the bar in March 2022.

There were gasps of relief from Dickinson’s family and sobbing in the courtroom as the guilty verdict for the Lucky Bar murder was read.

“I was having a panic attack as they read it. I wasn’t expecting it,” said Jasmine Bauer, Dickinson’s sister who’d traveled from Minnesota for the trial.

“It was surreal,” said Aly Bitze, Dickinson’s girlfriend.

“When 12 strangers are in charge it’s hard, you don’t know how they’re thinking,” said Dorraine Dickinson, John’s Mom who lives in Ontario. “Justice was served and Johnny knows that everything is good now. Everything is good.”

Second-degree murder means the jury found reason to believe Omar intended to kill Dickinson when he stabbed him twice outside Lucky Bar in March of 2022.

Witnesses told the court Dickinson and Omar got into an altercation inside the bar on their busy ’90s Night. The pair were in a heated conversation as Dickinson started guiding Omar out of the bar, telling a security guard, “This guy has got to go.”

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Neither side gave any details as to why they were arguing.

“Nobody knows what happened in there, but something happened and he was protecting something,” said Bauer.

Outside, Omar was heard muttering “I’m going to **** him up.”

A while later, Dickinson and his girlfriend decided to go home. Upon seeing Omar still outside, Dickinson ran at Omar, swinging. The two fell to the ground, with security quickly trying to pull them apart.

When they did, they observed Dickinson with two stab wounds. Omar fled the scene.

Some 25 minutes later, Omar turned himself in and called 911, saying he stabbed someone in self-defence, before dropping the knife outside the bar.

Dickinson died due to massive blood loss.

“Johnny didn’t deserve to die,” said Dickinson’s mom, remembering him as a kindhearted man who loved to dance, play pool and the outdoors.

Dickinson’s sisters were wearing matching necklaces containing his ashes as the verdict was read.

“Johnny was loved. He was loved from the moment he was conceived,” said Dorraine.

“He was love,” said Chelsea Middleton, John’s other sister.

“And he was a lover,” added Bitze.

As the trial wraps, the family says they’re filled with gratitude to all the first responders who took care of Dickinson in his last moments, and the prosecutors who put the case together.

“To know that he wasn’t alone for the last moments of his life, I wish I could hug them all,” said Bauer.

“This isn’t our world. The only court things we see are on True Crime on TV and this certainly is a far cry. We couldn’t thank the Crown enough,” said Dorraine.

“A huge weight has been lifted, we can begin to heal now,” said Bitze.

Unusual case

This was a very unusual case. Omar didn’t have a lawyer and represented himself.

And other than a few strange lines of questioning that led to no clear idea of his defence with the first few witnesses, Omar declined to cross-examine the majority of witnesses. He told the judge he didn’t want the defence lawyer assigned to him to speak for him, or cross examine witnesses on his behalf.

When it was time, Omar did not provide a summary of his defence.

As a result, Justice Anthony Saunders had to be extra careful. When the jury was not in the room he gave Omar repeated chances to ask questions and repeated warnings of the possible ramifications of not providing a defence.

The minimum sentence for second-degree murder is life in prison with no parole for 10 years. The maximum is 25 years without a chance of parole.

Three jurors suggested Omar be able to apply for parole 20 years into his sentence, the other 9 jurors declined to suggest a timeline. A date for sentencing has yet to be set.

At the end of the proceedings, Omar indicated to the courts his intention to possibly appeal.


Kori Sidaway

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