News Toronto

DNA matches accused, jury hears as trial of former NCAA basketball player begins

By Sam Pazzano, Toronto Sun

Alwayne Bigby (pictured) and  Michael Davani are on trial, charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Andrea White. TORONTO SUN/FILES)

Alwayne Bigby (pictured) and Michael Davani are on trial, charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Andrea White. TORONTO SUN/FILES)

An innocent Scarborough mom of four was gunned down in a drive-by shooting in April 2014 - a year after another resident of the same complex was also killed, a jury heard Wednesday.

Andrea White was socializing with her husband Bobby Lewis and their friends inside her opened garage on Forest Creek Pathway when a gunman in a white Range Rover opened fire, Crown attorney Rob Fried said in his opening statement to the jury as a high-profile trial opened Wednesday. Former NCAA basketball player Alwayne Bigby and Michael Davani are on trial, charged with first-degree murder.

Minutes earlier that spring day, the same white Range Rover drove slowly past the White home in the Grace Hartman Housing co-op and then returned when gunfire erupted, Fried said.

“Andrea White was struck by one of those bullets and died as a result,” said Fried as he outlined the prosecution’s case against the alleged driver, Bigby, and the front passenger, alleged shooter Davani.

Bigby, 26, and Davani, 24, have pleaded not guilty in the death of the 33-year-old White on April 12, 2014.

Earlier that day, two men, travelling in a white Range Rover, visited the gravesite of Kwado Mensah, 21, who was known by Davani, said Fried.

After the shooting, the Range Rover sped away towards Old Finch Ave. Police radioed officers to stop the getaway SUV.

Minutes later, an OPP officer, Gupreet Singh, spotted a vehicle fitting the description - with a driver and one passenger - travelling westbound on Hwy. 401 near Morningside and pursued it.

Other OPP officers, Colin Style and Darko Darkov, pulled over the Range Rover on the 401 near Avenue Rd.

When the officers walked up to approach the car, the driver suddenly accelerated westbound.

The high-speed chase ended when the Range Rover exited at Bathurst and into the residential area. The driver escaped. Darkov tackled the passenger, identified as Davani, to the ground, said Fried.

Davani was arrested and his jeans contained one particle of gunshot residue, said Fried.

The murder weapon, a 9-mm handgun, was found on the Bathurst off-ramp of the 401, the Crown attorney said.

A black do-rag was also discovered by police on the same off-ramp. Both gunshot residue and DNA material matching the profile of Bigby were on the cap, said Fried.

The next day, Bigby surrendered at 13 Division as he said he was the registered owner of the SUV involved in the OPP chase on the 401.

The trial resumes Thursday.

spazzano@postmedia.com