Sunday, 09 May, 2021


Alek Minassian found guilty of all charges in 2018 Toronto van attack

Alek Minassian found guilty of all charges in 2018 Toronto van attack Verdict in Toronto van attack trial to be livestreamed on YouTube this morning | News
Hannah Rogers | 04 March, 2021, 18:10

According to Molloy, the accused is being called John Doe in the verdict delivery to avoid his name receiving any notoriety, which she claimed is exactly what the accused wanted.

She referred to him as "John Doe" throughout the verdict and referred to the fact that his desire for notoriety and fame played a crucial role in his determination to commit mass murder.

Robert Forsyth, whose 94-year-old aunt Betty Forsyth died after being hit from behind by Minassian, welcomed Molloy's decision. "I can tell you it has nothing to do with this particular decision one way or the other but I am a big convert personally to Zoom, I thought that the technology worked great, I thought that the case proceeded as smoothly as possible given the circumstances". "It was clear he knew what he was doing". He said he had joined an online community of like-minded men who described themselves as "incels" or "involuntary celibates", whose sexual frustrations led them to embrace a misogynist ideology.

"We now can start to close this terrible chapter and try to move on to a new norm".

"He's a mass killer who has autism, that's it", said Riddell, who suffered a fractured spine and broken ribs, scapula and pelvis in the attack.

Minassian had pleaded not guilty and his defence lawyer Boris Bytensky said in his closing arguments that his client's autism disorder left him without the ability to develop empathy.

"It does not matter that he does not have remorse nor empathize with the victims", Molloy said. "Lack of empathy for the suffering of victims, even an incapacity to empathize for whatever reason, does not constitute a defence..."

"What they were trying to do, should they have been successful, was push back all the way to the dark ages of the 1960s, where autism was a form of childhood schizophrenia", says Cnudde, who notes that he has high-functioning autism, similar to Minassian.

Molloy said that expert testimony from forensic psychiatrists during trial gave her insights into the defendant's motives and actions before, during and after the attack.

Three weeks before the attack he booked a rental van for the day after he completed his final college exam, court heard.

It was about 1:30 p.m. local time when he sat in he driver's seat at Yonge Street and Finch Avenue at a red light.

"The accused committed a horrific crime, one of the most devastating tragedies this city has ever endured, for the objective of achieving fame", Judge Molloy wrote in the ruling.

Minassian is likely to face life in prison, the sentence in Canada for first-degree murder. Murder in Canada carries a life sentence and those found guilty must serve at least 25 years before being considered for parole.

The Toronto van attack killer was found guilty on all 26 counts of murder and attempted murder on Wednesday morning.

Molloy found Minassian's ASD didn't prevent him from fully understanding his actions were both legally and morally wrong.

Minassian has admitted to planning and carrying out the deadly attack, leaving his state of mind at the time the only issue at trial.

Justice Anne Molloy rejected that argument, and in her decision ruled that the defendant understood the gravity of his murderous rampage.

Minassian had a decade-long fixation on mass school shootings, the Crown pointed out.

"In its severe manifestations, and particularly where there are comorbidities, ASD might cause a person to lack the capacity to appreciate the nature of an action or to know that it is wrong", she said.

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