Published: Thu, March 04, 2021

Toronto van attack killer found guilty of murder

Toronto van attack killer found guilty of murder

Defense lawyer Boris Bytensky said in his closing arguments that Minassian's ASD left him incapable of discerning right from wrong and making a rational choice when he made a decision to target bystanders on a Toronto streetscape bathed in spring sunshine in one of Canada's most horrific attacks.AFP Because he raised a not criminally responsible defense, Bytensky must prove that Minassian more likely than not had a mental disorder that affected his actions to this extent.

In the past it has been argued that those who carry out mass shootings and publish manifestos to try and justify their actions - such as Seung-hui Cho, who killed 32 people at Virginia Tech in 2007 - should be anonymised as a way of deterring future attack.

"It's been a long time and this has affected 10 families for murder and 16 others for attempted murder".

The key issue at Minassian's trial, which began last November without a jury, was whether he had the capacity at the time of the attack to make a rational choice.

Justice Anne Molloy, who asked of journalists to not publish the perpetrator's name, delivered the verdict on Wednesday.

Alek Minassian had admitted the attack, but his lawyers argued he was not criminally responsible due to his autism spectrum disorder.

Advocacy groups had condemned the use of autism as a defense, concerned it would further stigmatize those with the disorder. "It was clear he knew what he was doing".

The attack claimed the lives of 22-year-old Ji Hun Kim, 22-year-old So He Chung, 30-year-old Anne Marie D'Amico, 33-year-old Andrea Bradden, 55-year-old Beutis Renuka Amarasingha, 45-year-old Chul "Eddie" Min Kang, 83-year-old Geraldine Brady, 85-year-old Munir Abdo Habib Najjar, and 94-year-old Mary Elizabeth Forsyth and Dorothy Sewell, 94.

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

"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 ... does not constitute a defence".

At one point he became fixated on an American mass murderer who hated women.

Incels, a portmanteau of "involuntary celibate", typically describes a young man who can not attract women sexually. But in subsequent interviews with doctors, he gave different motives for the attack, including seeking notoriety. And he was accomplished: A couple days before picking up the rental van to complete his grisly plan, he had handed in the final assignment for his college degree in computer programming, and was set to start a $55,000-a-year software development job.

Around 1:30 p.m. on a bright and warm April day, Minassian sat in the driver's seat at Yonge Street and Finch Avenue at a red light.

Minassian had driven a rented van at high speeds along two kilometers (more than a mile) of roads and sidewalks, indiscriminately targeting passers-by.

He was arrested moments later following a failed attempt to commit suicide by cop. Murder in Canada carries a life sentence and those found guilty must serve at least 25 years before being considered for parole. A timetable for sentencing will come on March 18.

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