Co-workers stunned by janitor's murder arrest

The co-workers of a St. Lawrence Market janitor charged in the murder of downtown restaurateur George Koutroubis were in “shock” today while the victim’s family and friends said they were “relieved” and “grateful” that an arrest has been made. Andrew Campbell, 43, of Whitby, appeared briefly in a Brampton court today after Peel Regional Police arrested him Friday and charged him with first-degree murder.

The Toronto Sun
March 29, 2009

Co-workers stunned by janitor's murder arrest
Brett Clarkson

The co-workers of a St. Lawrence Market janitor charged in the murder of downtown restaurateur George Koutroubis were in “shock” today while the victim’s family and friends said they were “relieved” and “grateful” that an arrest has been made.

Andrew Campbell, 43, of Whitby, appeared briefly in a Brampton court today after Peel Regional Police arrested him Friday and charged him with first-degree murder.

Campbell, wearing a black and red hoodie, was calm when he appeared before Justice of the Peace Richard Kivell, who ordered him to appear next in court Monday morning.

A woman, Meryl Morgan, 40, and a 17-year-old boy, both of Whitby, were also arrested and charged with accessory after the fact to murder. Both appeared in court today. Morgan wore a brown, puffy jacket and blue jeans and looked anxious, while the boy, who can’t be identified, was expressionless.

Both were also ordered to appear Monday morning.

Later today, at the Six Steps restaurant near Church and King Sts., Koutroubis’ business partner and close friend Paul Kondakos said the slain newlywed’s family were relieved to hear of the arrests. But Kondakos called the news “bittersweet” because nothing will bring back Koutroubis, who owned the trendy Six Steps with Kondakos.

“What happened to him, he didn’t deserve,” Kondakos said. “He was an incredible guy — generous, honourable, integrity beyond reproach, the first guy to congratulate you, the first guy to reach for the bill, and always, always, always there for you when you need him.”

But Kondakos declined to comment on reports that Koutroubis was involved in illegal sports betting. Nor did he want to comment on speculation that Campbell allegedly owed $25,000 to Koutroubis, citing the ongoing police investigation.

Kondakos said he’d never heard of Campbell or the other two accused.

“As one of George’s best friends, I’ve never met them before,” Kondakos said. “I’ve never even heard of them from George.”

The 36-year-old Koutroubis was found dead inside his BMW SUV behind a Brampton apartment building on Feb. 22 after he was last seen on Feb. 17. He had just been married to his wife Rhoda two months earlier.

At the St. Lawrence Market today, a janitor who declined to be named said he worked with Campbell for about two years. He said the first-degree murder charge doesn’t make sense given Campbell’s personality.

“He’s too good a guy,” the janitor said. “He’s a very good person. It’s just kind of a shock.

“We’re going to miss him around here,” the janitor continued. “He’s a hard worker. He’s one of the hardest-working people here. He’s the type of guy that if you need a hand, he’d help you out.”

Urs Aeby, owner of the A Bisket-A Basket jam shop in the market, also said Campbell’s arrest was a “total” surprise.

“He was here everyday,” Aeby said. “When I was first told he was arrested, I said, ‘innocent until proven guilty,’ don’t pass judgment yet. He was polite, quiet, hard-working.”

Stephen Au Yeung, owner of Stephen Toys in the market, echoed a similar sentiment.

“I could not believe it,” Au Yeung said. “Today everybody is talking about it. He’s quiet. He seems like a nice, normal guy. Nobody believes it.”

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http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoandgta/2009/03/28/8921331.html


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