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Man sentenced to life for 2019 homicide in Hume Park in New West

Robel Abera was shot 12 times in a "tragic" event while hanging out with friends in Hume Park in April 2019
Robel Abera - Facebook
Robel Abera, shown here with his mother in 2013, was killed in New Westminster in April 2019.

A young man has been sentenced to life in prison in connection to the 2019 homicide of Robel Abera in Hume Park.

Following a trial at the New Westminster Law Courts, Sam Jafroudi was found guilty of second-degree murder on Dec. 13, 2021.

On Sept. 2, 2022, Jafroudi was sentenced to a period of life in prison with no eligibility for parole for a period of 12 years, said a press release from the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.

“A significant amount of effort went into this investigation by our partners at IHIT as well as the members of our department,” NWPD spokesperson Sgt. Justine Thom said in the news release. “We hope this guilty verdict and sentence helps the friends and family of Mr. Abera find some degree of closure.”

Around 7:30 p.m. on April 27, 2019, New Westminster police responded to reports of shots fired at Hume Park in Sapperton. They found Abera, 20, lying dead.

Jafroudi, who was 19 at the time, was arrested soon after at a nearby residence. The following day, he was charged with second-degree murder and remanded in custody.

Court documents state this “group of teenagers had known each other for years” and had met up in the picnic shelter in lower Hume Park on the night Abera was killed. The court heard testimony that the group hung out together regularly and would be rude to each other and pick on each other.

When arresting Jafroudi, police searched his backpack and found a semi-automatic rifle and ammunition. The barrel and stock from the firearm had been cut down, and the shell casings found at the scene were later found to have been fired from that prohibited firearm.

At the trial, the pathologist who performed the autopsy testified that Abera had died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds. He’d been shot 12 times, including three shots to the back of the head and two to the back.  

“These were very tragic events that have affected a number of people,” said a decision by Supreme Court of B.C. Justice B. Brown. “It is very, very sad. Unfortunately, I have no choice but to convict Mr. Jafroudi of second-degree murder.”