Both defendants guilty in ambush murder of Oak Park barber


Ian Guthrie, Dion Chambers

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SAN DIEGO -- Two Jamaican men who carried out an ambush shooting of a barber in his Oak Park shop were convicted Thursday of first-degree murder.

Dion Chambers, 51, who authorities identified as the gunman, and Ian Patrick Guthrie, 40, who acted as a lookout, were found guilty by separate juries in the May 9, 2014, death of Lamar Canady, a father of five.

Deputy District Attorney Sophia Roach said the defendants worked for a fellow Jamaican, Omar Grant, who ordered the "hit'' on the 32-year-old Canady out of jealousy and revenge because both Grant and Canady were involved with the same woman and Grant felt Canady was responsible for the theft of a large amount of marijuana.

Both Chambers and Guthrie are seen in surveillance video in the moments leading up to the murder of Canady, who was shot more than a dozen times, the prosecutor said.

"Why this happened, ultimately, was revenge,'' Roach said after the verdicts were announced. "This was one man's distorted quest for revenge. That is why this happened. There is no blame to be laid except for the murderers and the person who ordered this hit.''

Grant's status is unknown, although there was court testimony that he died and is buried in Jamaica.

Melissa Hernandez, the mother of Canady's children, said Canady wasn't perfect but he was turning his life around.

"Lamar made plenty of mistakes, but if you change your life around you do not deserve to die,'' Hernandez said. "And ... you have no right to kill anyone, anyone in any manner, just because of what they've done in the past.''

Roach told jurors that Guthrie arrived at the scene near 54th and Redwood streets in a car about 11 a.m., followed minutes later by Chambers, also known at Peter Johnson.

Chambers went into a nearby liquor store and looked at some beers, asking the clerk if he should buy cans or bottles, Roach said.

At 11:22 a.m., Guthrie called Chambers to say that Canady had stepped out of the barbershop, according to the prosecutor. She said Chambers went to Guthrie's car and pulled out a 9mm handgun and proceeded to the barbershop.

Once there, Chambers shot Canady 14 times within five seconds, including above the eye, leg, back and several times in the head, including one shot to the back of the head that singed the victim's hair and scalp, the prosecutor said.

Chambers and Guthrie fled the scene, but a criminalist was able to go through phone records and pick out the one call that Guthrie made to Chambers, Roach said.

The defendants were tracked down through their phones and found to have fake Florida driver's licenses, Roach said.

A search turned up evidence that connected Chambers and Guthrie to a drug trafficking ring, the prosecutor said. Also in Guthrie's possession was music that the victim had produced, Roach told the jury.

Guthrie eventually pointed the finger at Grant, who wanted Canady dead in retaliation for sleeping two years earlier with a woman involved with Grant, according to the prosecutor.

Jan Ronis, Guthrie's attorney, said his client was mistakenly identified in the surveillance video as being near the murder scene.

Ronis said Guthrie was a marijuana dealer who knew Chambers, but had nothing to do with Canady's killing.

Chambers' attorney, Ryan Pacyga, contended that law enforcement jumped to conclusions and mishandled evidence in the case.

Both defendants have prior convictions, meaning Chambers faces up to 75 years to life in prison and Guthrie faces as much as 50 years to life behind bars, according to Roach.

A status conference is scheduled next Wednesday.


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