Police say 5 pedestrians deliberately run down in London were targeted because they were Muslims

Ron in Regina

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So. . . what do y'all think he's gonna catch? Fifteen-minute time-out? Have to stay in from playtime for a week? One less cookie at snacktime?
Should & will are two different things. He “Should” get deported to the Gaza Strip, but he “Will” get five concurrent 25yr sentences, find God, sign up for every class to check every box for a parole board, and be free and clear out on the streets with a new name before the age of 40.
 
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Tecumsehsbones

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Should & will are two different things. He “Should” get deported to the Gaza Strip, but he “Will” get five concurrent 25yr sentences, find God, sign up for every class to check every box for a parole board, and be free and clear out on the streets with a new name before the age of 40.
Yep. I calculate "should" would involve a long ladder and a short rope.
 
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spaminator

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Accused in London, Ont., truck attack researched pedestrian fatality rates in crashes
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Maan Alhmidi
Published Oct 18, 2023 • 1 minute read

The man accused of killing four members of a Muslim family in London, Ont., in an alleged act of terrorism is telling a jury he researched fatality rates of pedestrians hit by vehicles a day before his attack.


On the stand in the Windsor, Ont., courtroom where his trial is taking place, Nathaniel Veltman says he considered using his pickup truck to carry out an attack and looked up information online on what happens when pedestrians get struck by cars.


Veltman says he wrote down data he found online that indicated the likelihood of pedestrian injury and death increased if the vehicle hitting them was travelling at higher speeds.

The 22-year-old Veltman is accused of deliberately hitting the Afzaal family with his truck in June 2021 while they were out for a walk in London — prosecutors have alleged his actions amount to an act of terrorism.

He has pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.


Veltman has been testifying in his own defence and told the jury on Tuesday that he felt an “urge” to hit the family with his truck after seeing them walking on a sidewalk, adding that he knew they were Muslims from the clothes they were wearing and he noticed that the man in the group had a beard.

He also told the jury on Monday that he drove to Toronto a day before the attack to explore the possibility of targeting Muslims in that city, but panicked and returned to his London apartment.

Jurors have previously seen video of Veltman telling a detective that his attack had been motivated by white nationalist beliefs.

Salman Afzaal, 46; his 44-year-old wife, Madiha Salman; their 15-year-old daughter, Yumna; and her 74-year-old grandmother, Talat Afzaal, were killed in the attack, while the couple’s nine-year-old son was seriously hurt but survived.

The case is the first where Canada’s terrorism laws are being put before a jury in a first-degree murder trial.
 

spaminator

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Accused in London, Ont., truck attack says he knew what happened was terrorism
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Published Oct 19, 2023 • Last updated 2 days ago • 2 minute read

The man accused of killing four members of a Muslim family in London, Ont., told a jury Thursday he knew his actions were considered a terrorist attack.


On the stand in the Windsor, Ont., courtroom where his trial is taking place, Nathaniel Veltman said he was influenced by the writings of a gunman who committed the 2019 New Zealand mass killing of 51 Muslim worshippers at two mosques.


Veltman said his understanding of terrorism is that it’s any politically-motivated violence and he was a “political person” when he crashed into the Muslim family.

Crown attorney Jennifer Moser, who was cross-examining Veltman, told him he knew he committed a terrorist attack when he struck five members of a Muslim family in June 2021.

“I know that every major event like this is considered a terrorist attack,” Veltman said, responding to Moser. “My understanding of a terrorist attack was, generally, politically-motivated violence.”


Veltman said he was “obsessed with politics” for two years before the attack and he was aware of “major events” that were called acts of terrorism.

“(Terrorism) is violence that had to do with politics or political motivation,” he said. “That was my understanding.”

The 22-year-old Veltman is accused of deliberately hitting the Afzaal family with his truck on June 6, 2021, while they were out for a walk in London. Prosecutors have alleged his actions amount to an act of terrorism.

He has pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.

Salman Afzaal, 46; his 44-year-old wife, Madiha Salman; their 15-year-old daughter, Yumna; and her 74-year-old grandmother, Talat Afzaal, were killed in the attack, while the couple’s nine-year-old son was seriously hurt but survived.


Veltman told the jury on Wednesday that he had been considering using his pickup truck, which he bought a month earlier, to carry out an attack and looked up information online about what happens when pedestrians get struck by cars.

He said he wrote down data he found that indicated the likelihood of pedestrians’ injury and death increased if the vehicle hitting them was travelling at higher speeds.

Veltman also testified that he ordered a bulletproof vest and a military-style helmet online in the month leading up to the attack and wore them on the day he ran down the Afzaal family.

Veltman also told the jury earlier this week that he felt an “urge” to hit the family with his truck after seeing them walking on a sidewalk, adding that he knew they were Muslims from the clothes they were wearing and he noticed that the man in the group had a beard.

Jurors have previously seen video of Veltman telling a detective that his attack had been motivated by white nationalist beliefs.

Court has heard he wrote a manifesto in the weeks before the attack, describing himself as a white nationalist and peddling unfounded conspiracy theories about Muslims.

The case is the first where Canada’s terrorism laws are being put before a jury in a first-degree murder trial.
 

spaminator

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Psychiatrist zeroes in on fallout of Nathaniel Veltman's use of magic mushrooms

While the high might have lasted about six hours, a forensic psychiatrist testified the effects can linger and can trigger a mental illness.
Author of the article:
Jane Sims
Published Nov 02, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 5 minute read


WINDSOR – About 40 hours before Nathaniel Veltman drove his pickup truck into a London Muslim family, killing four of them, he took magic mushrooms.


While the high might have lasted about six hours, a forensic psychiatrist testified Thursday that the effects can linger, for hours, days, or months and can trigger a mental illness.


“If somebody has a pre-existing mental illness you would expect the possibility that mental illness could be made worse by the use of medications or drugs,” said Julian Gojer at the Superior Court jury trial that is in its ninth week.

The adverse effects from magic mushrooms, also known as psilocybin “are rare but they are reported,” he said.

The jury hadn’t heard any evidence from Gojer since Monday and had been excused while the court dealt with legal arguments.

When it returned Thursday afternoon, the focus was on Veltman’s obsessions and how psilocybin may have contributed to his compulsive thoughts to drive into the family.


Veltman, 22, has pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder for the hit-and-run crash on June 6, 2021, that killed Talat Afzaal, 72, her son Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, and their daughter Yumnah Afzaal, 15. Their nine-year-old son was seriously injured.

The family were out for a late spring walk when they were struck at a northwest London intersection by Veltman’s recently purchased Dodge Ram pickup truck that was fitted with a push bar on the front grill. After striking the family, Veltman fled south on Hyde Park Road and four minutes later, wearing an army helmet, a bullet-proof vest and a white T-shirt with a spray-painted cross on the front and back, he gave himself up to London police in the Cherryhill Village Mall parking lot.


Later, he told London police Det. Micah Bourdeau that he was a white nationalist and he struck the family “because they were Muslim,” that he wanted to send a message to “Muslim grooming gangs” in the United Kingdom and he wanted to be an inspiration to other young white nationalists. A search of his apartment turned up a manifesto he penned called A White Awakening.

The prosecution is aiming to prove that the killings were not only planned and deliberate, but they were also acts of white nationalist terrorism. It’s the first time Canada’s terrorism laws have been argued in front of a jury at a first-degree murder trial.

Veltman, who spent eight days in the witness box last month testifying in his own defence, told the jury he was obsessive-compulsive and mentally disturbed by a childhood dominated by his mother in a strict Christian homeschooled family. Once leaving home at 16, he experimented with drugs and moved into a studio apartment in London during the pandemic where he became obsessed with far-right and white nationalist Internet content and the dark web, particularly websites that attacked Muslims and claimed crimes against white people were unreported.


Veltman testified he became detached from reality and dreamlike while coming down from a magic mushroom trip the day before the killings and couldn’t stop the “urge” to crash his pickup truck into the family when he was out on a food run.



Gojer, called by the defence as an expert in mental illnesses and the effect of hallucinogens, began his testimony more than a week ago.

Gojer testified Thursday under questioning by defence lawyer Christopher Hicks that he based his opinion on research he has read and on his own experience with patients. He said there is evidence that the effects linger beyond the initial intoxicating experience.

Gojer said mushrooms are being introduced at a research level in Canada to treat anxiety and depression.

He said he hadn’t published any papers on psilocybin, however, he has been involved in reaserch studies on “drugs that act on chemical systems in the brain, in a theoretical way similar to the way in which psilocybin acts on the brain.”

Those drugs, such as Prozac, Zolloft or Paxil, elevate serotonin in the brain to improve symptoms of depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, he said.

Gojer also gave an opinion on Veltman’s thought processes at the time of the crash. He said Veltman’s testimony at the trial pointed to him repeatedly trying to push away the compulsive urges to step on the gas pedal of his truck and hit Muslims.

“The diagnoses he has had, including the depression, coupled with the use of psilocybin on that day can explain some of these experiences he’s reporting,” he said.


Veltman was able to fight off the compulsion during his impromptu trip to Toronto the day before killing the family when he testified he felt the urge to step on the gas pedal and hit a group of Muslims he saw on a street and the next afternoon when he was driving home from work and saw a group of Muslims walking along Oxford Street as he was driving home from work.

“The urges are still in keeping with the obsessive-compulsive disorder that he has and they are all in keeping with his belief system that had been persisting over a period of time where he began to identify with people who had negative views towards Muslims,” Gojer said.

“The urges combined with his belief system make him very intense and appear to have been triggered by actually seeing some Muslim people,” he said.


Gojer said Veltman was experiencing “gut-wrenching anxiety” and his focus was to get rid of the urges, not to hit Muslims. “The urge is to step on the gas, but the reason is to get rid of the obsession.”

“He was not thinking beyond the urges and the obsessions, His focus was on eliminating the obsessions. He doesn’t talk about wanting to actually kill,” Gojer said.

When Veltman left his downtown London apartment the last time before running over the family, Veltman testified he still felt detached. Gojer said his mindset would still be “like tunnel vision” and focused on the obsessional thoughts, he said.

“Either he’s living out the dream that he had, which is about Muslims dying, or he’s just focused on giving in to those urges. . . . He hasn’t actually said if I press my foot on the gas and drive at these people, people are going to die. He’s not talking about thinking beyond,” Gojer said.


When Veltman testified he finally gave into the “urge” when he saw the Afzaals on Hyde Park Road, he described having the same feeling he had before: “To drive at them, to crash into them.”

Gojer said when someone intends to crash into a person with a truck, “you would have to interpret the actions as a person intending the consequences of their actions” however, “there are a lot of factors that might go against a common inference …. You have to factor in that this is not a normal person driving into people, this is a person who is having these multiple disorders.”

Gojer continues his testimony on Friday.

jsims@postmedia.com
 

spaminator

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Man accused in London, Ont., attack has mental health issues, expert tells trial

Author of the article:
Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Maan Alhmidi
Published Nov 03, 2023 • 3 minute read


The man accused of killing four members of a Muslim family in London, Ont., doesn’t qualify to be considered not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder, despite having mental health issues, a forensic psychiatrist told a jury on Friday.


On the stand in the Windsor, Ont., courtroom where Nathaniel Veltman’s trial is taking place, defence witness Dr. Julian Gojer said his report found that Veltman was suffering from mental health issues at the time of the attack.


Gojer said he diagnosed Veltman with severe depression, autism spectrum disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, among other conditions that may have impacted his ability to plan his actions and understand their consequences.

“He is an individual who has homicidal thoughts and ideas,” he said. “I think it’s the disorders that allow him to continue with these thoughts and ideas.”

Veltman, 22, is accused of deliberately hitting the Afzaal family with his truck on June 6, 2021, while they were out for a walk in London. Prosecutors have alleged his actions amount to an act of terrorism.
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He has pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.

Salman Afzaal, 46; his 44-year-old wife, Madiha Salman; their 15-year-old daughter, Yumna; and her 74-year-old grandmother, Talat Afzaal, were killed in the attack, while the couple’s nine-year-old son was seriously hurt but survived.

Gojer said Veltman was also diagnosed with complex trauma and personality disorders complicated by grief after the death of his great-grandmother days before the attack.

He said “the emotions flowing” after the death of Veltman’s great-grandmother, who was close to him, “would have super-imposed on the existing depression.

“These are the factors that are contributing to these (homicidal) thoughts.”


Gojer said Veltman reported taking magic mushrooms a couple of days before the attack and that could also have impacted him.

“I believe that some of the effects of the mushrooms still persisted and is also a factor,” he said.

“One has to look at the entire picture.”

Veltman told the jury last month that he knew his actions were considered a terrorist attack and that he was influenced by the writings of a gunman who committed the 2019 New Zealand mass killing of 51 Muslim worshippers at two mosques.

Veltman said that he had been considering using his pickup truck, which he bought a month earlier, to carry out an attack and looked up information online about what happens when pedestrians get struck by cars.

He said he wrote down data he found that indicated the likelihood of pedestrians’ injury and death increased if the vehicle hitting them was travelling at higher speeds.


Veltman testified that he ordered a bulletproof vest and a military-style helmet online in the month leading up to the attack and wore them on the day he ran down the Afzaal family.

Veltman also told the jury that he felt an “urge” to hit the family with his truck after seeing them walking on a sidewalk, adding that he knew they were Muslims from the clothes they were wearing and he noticed that the man in the group had a beard.

Jurors have previously seen video of Veltman telling a detective that his attack had been motivated by white nationalist beliefs.

Court has heard that he wrote a manifesto in the weeks before the attack, describing himself as a white nationalist and peddling unfounded conspiracy theories about Muslims.

The case is the first where Canada’s terrorism laws are being put before a jury in a first-degree murder trial.
 

spaminator

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Closing arguments expected Tuesday in Nathaniel Veltman trial

Author of the article:Jane Sims
Published Nov 09, 2023 • 3 minute read

WINDSOR — Nathaniel Veltman’s mass murder trial will enter its final chapter next week.

Closing arguments from the defence and Crown are expected to be heard Tuesday at the trial of the 22-year-old London man accused in the hit-and-run deaths of an immigrant Muslim family from Pakistan on June 6, 2021.

Once those are completed, all that will be left for the jury to hear will be the final instructions of Superior Court Regional Senior Justice Renee Pomerance before starting deliberations.

Veltman, a college drop-out who worked at an Strathroy egg-processing plant, has pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.

Killed while out on a family walk in London were Talat Afzaal, 72, her son Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, and their daughter Yumnah Afzaal, 15.

The couple’s nine-year-old son was seriously injured.

The prosecution, made up of both provincial Crowns and federal prosecutors, aims to prove the deaths were not only planned and deliberate, but were acts of white nationalist terrorism.

It’s the first time Canada’s terrorism laws have been argued before a jury at a first-degree murder trial.

It’s been 10 weeks since the 14-member jury was selected on Sept. 5. Evidence heard in the trial began a week later on Sept. 11. One witness was excused this month because of illness.

From the outset, the Crown and the defence agreed that Veltman slammed his Dodge Ram pickup truck into the family at the corner of Hyde Park and South Carriage roads in London.

The Crown called 19 witnesses and showed the jury video of the crash at the northwest London intersection, Veltman’s arrest minutes later at the Cherryhill Village Mall parking lot on Oxford Street, where he was wearing a bullet-proof vest and an army helmet, and hours of a police interview in which Veltman identified as a white nationalist and said he struck the family “because they were Muslim.”

Evidence was presented of Veltman consuming far-right, disturbing anti-Muslim content on the Internet, including videos and manifestos of mass killers. In the month before the family was killed, Veltman bought the truck and had a bull bar installed on the front of it.

The Crown also read parts of Veltman’s own manifesto railing against minorities, found in his downtown London apartment, that he titled A White Awakening.

The prosecution closed its case on Oct. 5.

The defence began calling evidence on Oct. 12 and told the jury that the issue was intent. The first witness was Veltman, who spent more than a week in the witness box. He described childhood trauma from his strict, home-schooled, Christian fundamentalist up-bringing, his obsession with far-right online content, suicide attempts and his pent-up rage.

Veltman testified he was in a “dreamlike state” on June 6, 2021, that was caused by ingesting a large quantity of magic mushrooms about 40 hours before the crash. He had been able to resist the idea of running his truck into Muslims twice after taking the mushrooms, but, while out on a food run, he said he saw the family and couldn’t stop the “urge.”

The only other witness called by the defence was forensic psychiatrist Julian Gojer, who finished his testimony on Monday. Gojer testified that while Veltman was not psychotic at the time of the crash, he diagnosed him with several mental health issues including obsessive-compulsive disorder, autism spectrum disorder, severe depression, anxiety and a personality disorder.

Gojer suggested the magic mushrooms, with the active drug psilocybin, had a rebound effect after the initial high that exacerbated Veltman’s mental health issues, making it impossible for him to stop his compulsions.

After Gojer’s testimony finished, the jury was told no more evidence would be presented.

The trial continues Tuesday.

jsims@postmedia.com
 

Ron in Regina

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Good. But he will only be off the streets for 25 years.
Canada, bulk discount for homicides, served concurrently. I’m betting 15 years, for good behaviour, released at 2/3’d time served minus double time for time served on remand before sentencing. This guy will be back on the street (maybe not legally driving, but that’s a different story) before he’s forty years old.

I’m assuming a relatively clean record before this as he was only 22yrs old when he ran over that family, and if he isn’t a total screw up inside, takes his courses to become a preacher and a certified forklift operator and a drug councillor, and finds some version of a God (maybe even Allah), promises to take his anti-brain malfunction meds as long as someone is watching, etc…he’s into a Halfway House by 2038 and out of the system before Canada becomes Carbon Neutral.
 

spaminator

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Sentencing date set for London, Ont., mass murderer Nathaniel Veltman
Convicted mass murderer Nathaniel Veltman’s future will be decided early in the new year.

Author of the article:Jane Sims
Published Dec 01, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 3 minute read

Convicted mass murderer Nathaniel Veltman’s future will be decided early in the new year.


While his mandatory life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years won’t be in dispute, what will be is whether the hit-and-run murders of four members of a London Muslim family and the injuring of a young boy were acts of white nationalist terrorism.

Friday, Veltman made a brief appearance in Windsor Superior Court for a scheduling session. A pre-hearing conference is set for next Tuesday, Dec. 5, and Jan. 4 and 5 were set aside for sentencing submissions in London before Regional Senior Justice Renee Pomerance.

Veltman made his brief video appearance Friday from the South West Detention Centre in Windsor. His hair was cut short in a buzz cut and he was wearing jail-issued orange garb. He said nothing.

The sentencing dates were confirmed by Superior Court Justice Bruce Thomas.


Veltman, 22, was convicted by a jury of four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder on Nov. 16, following a marathon 11-week trial in Windsor.

Four members of the Afzaal family were murdered on June 6, 2021, at a northwest London intersection when Veltman intentionally drove into them at high speed with his pickup truck.

Killed were Talat Afzaal, 72, her son Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, and their daughter Yumnah Afzaal, 15. Their son, who was nine years old at the time of the murders, was seriously injured but survived.

Their deaths sparked an unprecedented outpouring of grief and support for the Muslim community both in London and across the country. Political leaders called the killings acts of terror.


The trial, which was moved to Windsor to ensure Veltman’s fair trial interests, was the first time Canada’s terrorism laws were argued in front of a jury at a first-degree murder trial.

The jury was given two paths to convict Veltman of first-degree murder: one was if the jury believed there was planning and deliberation; the other was if it decided the murders were terrorist acts. The jury did not have to reveal how they reached its unanimous decision.

But the judge, Pomerance, will be asked to make findings of fact before delivering the sentence. And the prosecution will be asking for a terrorism finding.


Along with victim impact statements, there will likely be a Gardiner hearing, which is a hearing at sentencing when the facts of the case are in dispute.

Defence lawyer Christopher Hicks told reporters at the end of Veltman’s trial that he would be arguing against a terrorism designation.

The implications of a terrorism finding don’t affect the length of the sentence – there is no longer sentence than life in prison – but it could affect how Veltman is classified in the federal prison system and what his chances are for parole after 25 years of incarceration.

The jury saw video evidence of Veltman telling the police he had randomly targeted the family “because they were Muslim” that late spring evening while driving on Hyde Park Road in his souped-up pickup truck.


The college dropout who worked at a Strathroy egg-processing facility had immersed himself in far-right and white nationalist online content and had made plans all spring to attack Muslims “to send a message” and become an inspiration to other young white nationalists.

Veltman’s defence was that he was troubled and mentally unstable from a home-schooled upbringing in a strict Christian fundamentalist home and was unable to cope once he moved out. He claimed that the after-effects of a magic mushroom trip 40 hours before he killed the family had exacerbated his undiagnosed mental health problems, leaving him unable to resist the “urge” to drive his truck into them.

That defence, along with the assessment by forensic psychiatrist Julian Gojer, was rejected by the jury that only took six hours to bring back its guilty verdicts.

jsims@postmedia.com