Friday, October 7, 2016

Hells Angels hit man Dean Kelsie appealing 2000 conviction

Sean Simmons, right, and Hells Angels Neil SmithA Hells Angels hitman is fighting for a new trial and taxpayers are paying for his legal costs, 13 years after he was convicted of the crime. Dean Daniel Kelsie, 43, and three other men were found guilty in the October 2000 killing of Sean Simmons.

Simmons was gunned down in an apartment in north-end Dartmouth on orders from a Hells Angel because Simmons allegedly had an affair with a gang member's wife. In the Crown’s remarks, drug dealer Wayne James, gunman Dean Kelsie James and Paul Derry owed money to Neil Smith, a member of the Hells Angels who supplied them with drugs to sell.

“An opportunity presented itself for that drug debt to be cleared, and that opportunity was the murder of Sean Simmons,” the prosecutor said.
For most of his adult life, Paul Derry has been exploiting other criminals as a paid police informant. Only he had immunity when he sold drugs and ran guns.

He got the biggest pass of his life in 2000, when he was spared charges for his key role in a Hells Angels contract killing in Halifax. He went to work for the police, and wore a wire when he visited one of the accused in jail.
Simmons was killed by a single gunshot wound to the head. Testimony at trials for the various accused indicate Dean Kelsie pulled the trigger. He was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder at a judge and jury trial in March 2003. The conviction carries an automatic life sentence. Kelsie must serve a minimum of 25 years before he can apply for parole.

Dean Kelsie used Paul Derry’s .32-calibre handgun for the shooting. Derry drove the getaway vehicle and disposed of evidence, including the murder weapon. Derry and his family entered the RCMP’s witness protection program in April 2001. He was kicked out of the program in 2011 after he wrote a book about the killing, appeared in a television documentary and gave media interviews. In a decision released Thursday, a judge of the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal ruled Kelsie should have legal help to prepare his appeal.