Man faces court over alleged murder of gangland figure Gavin ‘Capable’ PrestonOctober 26, 2023
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A Sydney man has faced court charged with the murder of notorious underworld figure Gavin ‘Capable’ Preston as he sat outside a busy café in Melbourne’s north-west last month.
Jaeden Tito, a 22-year-old roofer with no known criminal history, appeared in a late sitting of the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Thursday after being extradited from Sydney to face allegations he gunned down Preston on September 9.
Jaeden Tito arrives at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court after being extradited from NSW.Credit: Nine News
Tito bowed as he was escorted into court by security and greeted the magistrate with a nod. He did not apply for bail.
Prosecutors asked the court for more time than usual for police to compile the brief of evidence to be handed over to Tito’s lawyers, saying detectives had a large amount of CCTV to examine and were awaiting DNA test results, which magistrate Julie Grainger granted.
The court heard that it was his first time in custody. Tito told Grainger that he was withdrawing from cocaine and cannabis use.
Tito arrived at Tullamarine Airport on Thursday afternoon under police guard before being transported to remand cells in Melbourne’s CBD about 4pm. Detectives who had arrived from NSW sat in court during Tito’s brief evening hearing.
Victorian and NSW police began the raids at 6am on Wednesday at homes in Bradbury, Yagoona and Campbelltown in Sydney’s outer south-west. In police video of the arrest, Tito appears calm and co-operative before he is put into a police van.
Tito will next face court in March.
On September 9, terrified brunch patrons jumped for their lives as a killer dressed in black ran up to a café on a quiet suburban shopping strip in Keilor Village, in Melbourne’s north-west, and fired at Preston while he sat at a table on the footpath.
Preston, 50, died and the man he was dining with, Abbas Jr “AJ” Maghnie, the son of late underworld enforcer Nabil Maghnie, was seriously injured.
It is alleged that the killer ran back to a black Audi after firing up to eight shots, before the car sped off and was found dumped in nearby Blair Court.
Gavin Preston, with his nickname, “Capable”, tattooed on his neck.Credit: Facebook
A second vehicle – a black Volkswagen Polo believed to have been used as another escape car for the offenders – was found in Cadiz Place, Keilor Downs.
Preston, who had been waging bloody feuds with rivals in Melbourne’s gangland, was released from prison this year after serving a long sentence over the shooting death of a drug trafficker.
The return of the notorious standover man to the streets had put law enforcement and the underworld on alert over concerns that Preston, who was at one time also suspected of shooting former bikie Toby Mitchell and plotting to kill Mick Gatto, could revisit old feuds from a decade ago.
This masthead reported last month that a contract was taken out on Preston’s life at least two months before his death. One underworld source said when he was killed: “They’ll be holding the wake in a phone box.”
Detective Superintendent Stevenson, from the serious crime division of Victoria Police’s Crime Command, said the investigation had been challenging.
“This shooting was an extreme display of violence in a public setting and those involved had complete disregard for innocent members of the community,” Stevenson said.
“The fear that this type of offending generates, along with the high risk of innocent parties being killed, seriously injured or traumatised, is unacceptable and deeply concerns us.”
Police are keen to speak to anyone who witnessed the shooting of Preston or saw the escape vehicles, as well as anyone with information about those responsible for the shooting and the motivation behind it.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au
With Chris Vedelago, Cameron Houston and Lachlan Abbott
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