A Canadian man was “looking for Muslims to kill” when he slammed his pickup truck right into a household out on a night stroll, the prosecution mentioned in closing arguments Tuesday.
Nathaniel Veltman, now 22, is on trial for wiping out three generations of the Afzaal household in June 2021 in London, Ontario.
He pleaded not responsible to 4 counts of homicide, which prosecutors say have been premeditated, in addition to one depend of tried homicide.
The case marks the primary time a Canadian jury has been requested to think about a terrorism motive associated to white supremacy.
Whereas acknowledging Veltman’s duty for the killings, the protection mentioned he ought to be convicted of a lesser cost of manslaughter.
Prosecutor Fraser Ball instructed the jury they’ve “the whole lot you may probably must convict on this case,” together with the defendant’s confession to police.
He mentioned Veltman had penned a “terrorist manifesto,” discovered on his laptop, during which he espoused white nationalism and described his hate for Muslims.
The accused “dressed like a soldier” carrying physique armor and a helmet, and “pumped himself up” earlier than the assault. “He was looking for Muslims to kill,” Fraser mentioned.
‘Pedal to the metallic’
When Veltman handed the Afzaal household on a London avenue, the Crown legal professional mentioned, he turned his pick-up truck round and accelerated “pedal to the metallic,” leaping the curb as he drove into them.
Our bodies flew into the air.
Salman Afzaal, 46, his spouse Madiha Salman, 44, their 15-year-old daughter Yumnah and her grandmother Talat Afzaal, 74, have been killed. A nine-year-old boy orphaned within the ramming suffered severe however non-life-threatening accidents.
Veltman was arrested in a close-by parking zone and instructed police he wished to “ship a powerful message” towards Muslim immigration.
Ball mentioned that message was “brutal and terrifying: Depart this nation otherwise you and your family members may very well be subsequent.”
Protection lawyer Christopher Hicks argued that Veltman suffered from psychological issues and childhood traumas that led to “despair and anxiousness.”
He additionally consumed three grams of hallucinogenic psilocybin mushrooms previous to the assault that, in response to Hicks, left him feeling indifferent or disconnected from actuality “as if in a dream or surreal state, a state of utmost confusion whereby his mind was in turmoil.”
“He’s answerable for the deaths of those folks,” Hicks concluded, however added that Veltman didn’t have the required “psychological acuity for planning and deliberation” for homicide or terrorism.
Veltman faces as much as life in jail if convicted of first-degree homicide. Manslaughter carries a most penalty of seven years in jail.
This was the deadliest anti-Muslim assault in Canada since a taking pictures at a mosque in Quebec Metropolis in 2017 that left six useless. The perpetrator of that taking pictures was not charged with terrorism.
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