News Toronto

Beating death was vicious, tortuous: Prosecution

By Sam Pazzano, Toronto Sun

Toronto - 

“Bring George. I’m gonna mincemeat him.”

That was the chilling text message Lori Crook received from her boyfriend, Mauro “Cruz” Granados-Arana, the night before George Fawell was viciously beaten and fatally stabbed in August 2012.

In her opening jury address Tuesday, Crown attorney Elena Middelkamp said Crook relayed the message to Fawell that Cruz “wanted to f--- him up.”

“Lori Crook understood that to mean Cruz was going to punch George out,” said Middelkamp in outlining the prosecution’s first-degree murder case against Granados-Arana.

Fawell “assured Crook that he didn’t have a problem with Cruz” so he and the woman walked together to her apartment, said Middelkamp.

Once they arrived at Crook’s home, her boyfriend and four other men thumped him. The beating was so loud that Crook warned neighbours would call police, court heard.

The prosecution alleges Granados-Arana killed Fawell, 24, in a prolonged, tortuous manner before dumping his corpse on railway tracks behind Jimmie Simpson Park.

Granados-Arana, 27, has pleaded not guilty.

Two Salvation Army Gateway Shelter workers discovered Fawell’s lifeless, bound body lying on an embankment beside train tracks at 10:45 a.m. on Aug. 24, 2012.

Fawell trusted Crook as they lived in the same neighbourhood for some time in August 2012. Fawell wanted to buy drugs from Crook’s roommate when Crook received a phone call and then text message from her boyfriend, known as “Cruz,” the jury was told.

After the beating started, Crook left her apartment and returned to see Fawell bloodied with his hands and feet loosely bound in duct tape.

Cruz later asked Crook to phone Michael Martins — a crack cocaine addict — to pick them up. Martins frequently gave Cruz late-night rides in his mini-van in exchange for drugs, said Middelkamp.

Martins drove and dropped off Cruz, an unidentified man and Fawell in a parking lot “in the direction of the train tracks,” said Middelkamp.

Crook’s boyfriend ordered her to burn Fawell’s body behind the Jimmie Simpson centre, she added.

When she arrived with a gas can at the tracks, police officers were swarming the scene, so Crook abandoned the can and fled in a cab, court heard.

The trial resumes Wednesday.

spazzano@postmedia.com