A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Nathaniel Veltman, the man found guilty of killing four members of a Muslim family in London, Ontario, and injuring another. The hearing is set to take place on January 4 and 5, during which prosecutors and defense lawyers will present their submissions on sentencing. Veltman, 22, was convicted last month of four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder for deliberately hitting the Afzaal family with his truck while they were out for a walk on June 6, 2021.
This case marked the first instance where Canada’s terrorism laws were presented to a jury in a first-degree murder trial. The presiding judge, Justice Renee Pomerance, instructed the jury that they could find Veltman guilty of first-degree murder if they unanimously agreed that he intended to kill the victims and had planned and deliberated his attack. The jury was also informed that they could reach the same verdict if they determined that the killings constituted terrorist activity. However, the terrorism component is not a separate charge, and the jury’s decision does not provide insight into the role the terror allegations played in their verdict. Justice Pomerance may address this issue during the sentencing process.
While the trial was held in Windsor, Ontario, the sentencing proceedings will occur in London, the location of the attack. Prior to the sentencing hearing, Veltman is scheduled to appear in court via video on December 5.