Court to wait longer to convict Toronto forward Alek Minassian

The man who deliberately killed 11 people while driving a van on a Toronto sidewalk will have his sentence adjourned for several months.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice said Tuesday’s scheduled appearance for Alek Minassian will set a new sentencing date pending a key Supreme Court of Canada decision in another case.

Judge Anne Molloy found Minassian guilty of 10 counts of first degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder last year for his acts of April 23, 2018.

The court said it would wait until the Supreme Court hears an appeal in the Alexander Bissonnette case over sentencing rules for multiple murders that allow sentences to be consecutive.

The Quebec Court of Appeal overturned the 40-year parole ineligibility period for Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to six counts of first degree murder after killing six people in a Quebec mosque in 2017.

The Crown appealed to the Supreme Court after the Court of Appeal found the consecutive conviction provision unconstitutional.

The court said Minassian will next appear in court on April 5.

The prosecution in the Minassian case previously told the court that victims and their families also wanted to be able to read their victim impact statements in person, which was not possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While Minassian was convicted of 10 first degree murders, another victim, Amaresh Tesfamariam, died a few months ago from injuries sustained in the attack in previous years.

Tesfamariam was paralyzed from neck to toe and never left the hospital after being struck by Minassian.

Toronto police, the coroner and Tesfamariam’s family consider his death a homicide.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on January 10, 2022.


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