Codi Wilson
Web Content Writer, CP24

@ CodiWilson

A judge has ruled that Alek Minassian is criminally responsible for the Toronto van attack in 2018 He has been convicted of 10 first degree murders and 16 attempted murders

In her ruling, broadcast on YouTube as part of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario Supreme Court Justice Anne Molloy said Wednesday that the defendant had a “functioning, rational brain” and had spent a lot of time on it to plan the attack and weigh the consequences

“At various times during his expert assessments, he described his actions as” devastating, “” despicable, “” shocking, “” morally awful, “” awful “and” irredeemable “” Even if he just worked this out intellectually without To be able to really grasp it emotionally completely or to have empathy is sufficient, “said Molloy in her decision

“It still shows that he had a functioning, rational brain that perceived the reality of what he was doing and knew that it was morally wrong by social standards and contrary to anything he was taught about right and wrong Then he made a choice. He chose to commit the crimes anyway because that was what he really wanted to do. This was the exercise of free will by a rational brain that was able to choose between right and wrong “

Minassian admitted that on the afternoon of Jan. Driving a rented van on sidewalks along a busy section of Yonge Street in North York and deliberately plowing pedestrians on its way on April 1st, 2018

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 and 55-year-old Beutis Renuka Amarasingha, the 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

Many of the 16 others who were wounded but survived the attack sustained traumatic injuries, including severe head injuries.A victim, 81-year-old Beverly Smith, suffered such severe injuries to her legs that they had to be amputated above the knee

During his six-week trial against Zoom late last year, the 28-year-old’s attorneys argued that Minassian should not be criminally responsible for his actions based on his diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

A person is classified as an NCR if they suffer from a mental disorder that has made them “unable to assess the nature and quality of the act or omission or to know that it was wrong,” according to Sec 16 of the Criminal Code

ASD is believed to have been used as the sole diagnosis for an NCR defense for the first time in a murder trial in Canada, and it was the defense’s responsibility to prove their case beyond doubt

The court had previously heard that psychosis is the diagnosis used in the vast majority of cases where the NCR and psychiatrists, both defense and law enforcement, found that Minassian was not psychotic or delusional at the time of the fatal attack suffered

While Molloy said ASD qualifies as a mental disorder under Sec 16, she noted that this only opens the door to the possibility that someone could use that diagnosis for a possible NCR defense

“Did he not have the ability to rationally evaluate what he was doing,” said Molloy in her decision. “I find that the defense has not done its duty on this point”

Minassian’s attorney Boris Bytensky previously told the court that his client’s ASD manifested itself in a way that created “a perfect storm” to “severely” distort Minassian’s mindset

The defense attorney was also quick to point out that most people with ASD are not violent and are more likely to be victims of a crime than the perpetrator

Defense psychiatrists testified that Minassian had no empathy, did not understand the true implications of his actions, and showed no remorse.They said he was obsessed with school shootings and Elliot Rodger’s manifesto that killed six people and contributed to several others Wounded in a knife stab in Isla Vista, California in 2014

“It doesn’t matter that he has neither remorse nor empathy with the victims,” ​​said Molloy. “Lack of empathy Even an inability to empathize with them does not constitute a defense within the meaning of Sec 16 of the Criminal Code”

Molloy described the crime as “one of the most devastating tragedies this city has ever seen”

She said the attack was carried out to gain fame and the accused achieved his goal

“I am very aware that all of this media attention and coverage is exactly what this man has been looking for from the start,” she said, adding that she made the decision to use him as “John” in her decision Doe “to denote

“Should such a case arise in the future, it is my heartfelt wish that careful consideration will be given at the outset to withhold publication of the perpetrator’s name”

Molloy made a point of naming and recognizing the “real hereos” who showed courage and compassion on that day

She applauded Const Ken Lam for his “composure” in arresting Minassian, even as the suspect attempted to provoke him to shoot. She also praised the investigators who remained professional in ensuring that the accused was treated appropriately

She also thanked the first responders who “dealt with the aftermath” of the attack and the “numerous ordinary citizens who cared for the injured and comforted the dying.” She recognized the bravery of those who “took care of their own safety “tried to prevent Minassian from stopping the van and unsuspecting pedestrians warned

“Unfortunately, the 23rd April 2018 also the date John Doe picked weeks in advance as the day he would kill as many Toronto residents as possible “

Police are seen near a damaged delivery van in Toronto after a delivery van fell on Monday, April 23 April 2018, crashing into a line of pedestrians on a sidewalk is THE CANADIAN PRESS / Aaron Vincent Elkaim

Anne Molloy, Ontario Supreme Court Justice, reads her verdict on the Van attack in Toronto, which appeared in this court sketch on Wednesday April 3rd March 2021, will be shown (John Mantha / CTV News)

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