City janitor held in Koutroubis slaying

The arrest of a Whitby man comes five weeks after Koutroubis was found with obvious trauma inside a black BMW SUV in the parking lot of a Brampton apartment complex Feb. 22. This strange case shocked a lot of people on Toronto's nightlife scene. Some 2,000 people showed up to Koutroubis' funeral.

The Toronto Sun
March 28, 2009

City janitor held in Koutroubis slaying
Victim knew suspect
Joe Warmington

Andrew_Campbell.jpg

EXCLUSIVE PHOTO: An acquaintance of slain restaurateur George Koutroubis is seen being taken into custody by Peel police in Toronto yesterday afternoon and charged for his murder. (Special to Sun Media)

An acquaintance of slain restaurateur George Koutroubis was taken into custody by Peel police in Toronto yesterday afternoon and charged in his murder, The Sun has learned.

After an exhaustive and detailed investigation into the mysterious slaying of the well-known and popular co-owner of Six Steps restaurant on Colbourne St., Andrew Campbell, 43, of Whitby, will be in a Brampton court room this morning to be formally charged with first-degree murder.

Two other people — Meryl Morgan, 40, also from Whitby, and a 17-year-old who can’t be named — are facing a charge of accessory after the fact to murder.

Koutroubis, a 36-year-old businessman who was just married in December and about to go on his honeymoon, had been missing since Feb. 17 — when he told loved ones he had a business appointment in Whitby.

They knew something was wrong when he did not return BlackBerry messages — a normal practice for the gregarious young man.

SPORTS BETTING
The arrest of a Whitby man comes five weeks after Koutroubis was found with obvious trauma inside a black BMW SUV in the parking lot of a Brampton apartment complex Feb. 22.

This strange case shocked a lot of people on Toronto's nightlife scene. Some 2,000 people showed up to Koutroubis' funeral.

Meanwhile, Campbell, who is known to have a wife and son, came to work yesterday morning at St. Lawrence Market, where he is a janitor employed by the City of Toronto.

But he did not finish his shift.

In the early afternoon, away from his workplace, he was arrested without incident by Peel homicide detectives. Although police did not comment on the motive, sources say to get to this point they dove deep into the world of illegal sports betting.

And the case they are bringing to court will revolve around a transaction that may have gone wrong between Campbell and Koutroubis.

Street sources indicate non-payment on sports bets from the accused to the victim may have been what sparked the disagreement.

Sources have told The Sun that small-time bookie Koutroubis may have ventured out of the safer, smaller sports betting world into higher- risk gambles with clients asking for larger margins.

There is speculation that Campbell allegedly owed $25,000 to Koutroubis but police would not comment, saying it would be best to wait until a trial to learn of the exact details.

"Mr. Campbell is entitled to his day in court," said Insp. Norm English when contacted last night.

The investigation continues and police have also not ruled out the possibility that several accessories to the murder may also face charges.

Although there is speculation about Koutroubis' alleged activities, English stressed he "is the victim here."

26 DETECTIVES
"By all accounts he was a terrific guy who was loved by many people — especially his family."

Time will tell what led to his death but no matter what, "George did not deserve to be murdered," English said.

As I reported in a Feb. 24 column, the killer, whoever it was, made a big mistake by rolling the dice and dumping the body in Peel Region. Peel homicide detectives are known for solving 100% of their cases.

"We will get to the bottom of this — and we will do it quickly," English promised at the time. "We will run down every lead but we are not going to drag (Koutroubis') name through the mud based on media acting like this is a Sopranos episode. There is nothing entertaining about murder."

But as written then, if I was a betting man I would bet they would soon have an arrest. Peel cops threw 26 detectives at this complicated case.

When police found Koutroubis' body they had very little to go on — other than innuendo and rumours.

"We retraced the last steps of Mr. Koutroubis' life and that led us in a certain direction," said English, adding the next move is to gather "evidence" and then it "starts to fit together like a puzzle."

He made a point of thanking Toronto Police "for allowing Peel police to gain quick access to their investigative file on their missing person's probe." He also thanked Durham Regional Police for "assisting us on a number of occasions" and the Centre of Forensic Sciences.

It was good, old-fashioned police work leading to an arrest.

Court records indicate Campbell has a 2004 firearms conviction and was not a stranger to police.

He will be before a court again today — this time charged with first-degree murder.

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http://www.torontosun.com/news/columnists/joe_warmington/2009/03/28/8914106-sun.html


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