Chute’s family ‘may never see justice done’

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Lambton OPP blocked off all of Marthaville Road between Churchill and Lasalle Lines April 14, 2022 investigating the murder of 45 year-old Andrew Chute at the Marthaville Habitat.

Pairs actions let Chute’s killers get away says Justice Raikes

A Sarnia judge says the two men who brought a Sarnia boilermaker to the Marthaville Wildlife Habitat where he was murdered bear responsibilty for covering the killers tracks.

Justice R. Raikes sentenced Jason Nahmabin to four years in prison and James Armstrong to 22 months of house arrests after they plead guilty to being an accessory to murder after the fact.
In early April 14, 2022, Andrew Chute was murdered in the parking lot of the habitat area outside of Petrolia. Nahmabin and Armstrong had picked up Chute in Sarnia saying they were going to help another drug dealer named Sonny with a collections issue.

Shortly after Nahmabin, Armstrong and Chute – who had been taking opioids and was drowsy – arrived, an Acura pulled into the parking lot. Two black men got out and fired 11 shots. All of them hit Chute.

An agreed statement of facts says the identities of the gunmen are still not known, the firearm is still outstanding, and the investigation into Chute’s murder continues.

In sentencing Nahmabin and Armstrong Friday, Justice Raikes pointed out that while the men didn’t pull the trigger, their actions allowed the killers to get away.

Armstrong, Raikes said in his written decision, was a drug user who didn’t have a criminal record. He didn’t know the murder was about to take place. But after Chute was murdered in front of him, Armstrong carried out a plan where he drove the killers to London.

“Once the shooters were dropped off in London, there was nothing to stop him from going to police to tell them what had happened,” wrote Raikes. “A man was dead. He saw it happen. He drove the killers to London and knew where he had left them.

But he didn’t go to police. He didn’t call in an anonymous tip to police. Instead, he drove the Acura back to Sarnia to drop it off with Mr. Nahmabin. He stayed quiet. He assured Mr. Nahmabin he would stay quiet. He deleted messages on his cell phone.”

And Raikes says he lied to police about the murder.

Nahmabin, who had a criminal record, used drugs “recreationally” and sold them to support his family after a workplace injury interrupted his construction work, also hid what happened from police.
Raikes said his “degree of moral blameworthiness is very high.

“He had to know that his actions were helping the killers get away and avoid arrest. He had to know by what he did and what he instructed Mr. Armstrong to do that he was destroying or removing evidence that would assist police in their investigation. He knew what he was doing. He was helping his drug supplier who had just killed Mr. Chute.”

Raikes added because of their actions, Chute’s killers may never be found. And that, he said, would weigh on the man’s family.

“Mr. Chute was a friendly, supportive, loving, hard-working person. He loved his family. He had addiction demons that arose after a workplace injury resulted in ongoing serious pain that was treated with pain medication. He fought those demons and at times, appeared to be winning the battle. Unfortunately, addiction is a constant struggle and any pause in the fight to stay sober may lead back to drug use. Despite those struggles, Mr. Chute remained close to his family,” Raikes wrote.

The justice says the family wrote of their heartbreak poignantly, particularly because of the inability to identify and find his killers.

“They may never see justice done and never achieve even the modicum of closure that a criminal trial might bring,” Raikes wrote.

“The personal impacts of his murder on each of them is profound and will be felt for the rest of their lives. It has affected their sense of security, their ability to connect with others, the way they interact with and see the world. It is a far grayer and lonelier place than it was.
“His death has left a hole that cannot be filled.”