Judge delivers guilty verdict in Toronto van attack trial

  • Judge delivers guilty verdict in Toronto van attack trial

Judge delivers guilty verdict in Toronto van attack trial

Justice Anne Molloy said there was no doubt his actions were planned and deliberate and that he was fully aware of what he was doing.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Anne Molloy announced her ruling during an unprecedented livestreamed reading on YouTube Wednesday morning, dismissing arguments that Minassian should not be held criminally responsible for his acts on account of having autism spectrum disorder. "The accused committed a horrific crime and left some of the most devastating tragedies this city has ever endured", Molloy said on zoom at the trial before delivering her verdict.

In refusing to use his name in her verdict, Molloy noted Minassian said he would be very disappointed if people didn't know his name after what he did. She kind of snuffed the autism portion of (the defence argument). "For the individual victims who died, all of the constituent elements for first-degree murder are established", it continues, noting that the sole issue up for decision was not whether Minassian killed and injured 26 people, but whether he should not be held criminally responsible for his actions in causing these deaths and injuries. "Lack of empathy for the suffering of victims, even an incapacity to empathise for whatever reason, does not constitute a defence".

At one point he became fixated on an American mass murderer who hated women. Minassian had stopped his rampage, he told police, only after his windshield was obscured by a splashed drink, and his trial heard he'd do it all again if he were let out of jail to better his "kill count".

Incels, a portmanteau of "involuntary celibate", typically describes a young man who can not attract women sexually.

Minassian told a detective hours after the attack that he sought retribution against society because he was a lonely virgin who believed women wouldn't have sex with him.

He told them he had a strong desire to commit a mass killing, he was lonely, anxious he'd fail at his upcoming software development job, a belief he'd never have a relationship with a woman, his infatuation with a mass murderer and, what many point to as his biggest motivator, the quest for notoriety.

"Rob Thomas at 32 Division. he made extensive inculpatory statements including that he had set out to kill people that day and that he had rented the van nearly three weeks in advance, deliberately choosing one that would be small enough to manoeuvre on the sidewalk but large enough to inflict maximum damage", reads a portion of the ruling.

Ten people were killed and 16 others were injured on April 23, 2018 along Yonge St. between Finch and Sheppard. When it turned green, he floored it, hopping the curb.

The now-28-year-old drove for about two kilometres on and off the sidewalk, killing and injuring pedestrians along the way.

He was arrested moments later following a failed attempt to commit suicide by cop. He faces an automatic life sentence with no parole for at least 25 years.