Sentencing hearing for Nathaniel Veltman scheduled for January

Killer sentencing in January

A sentencing hearing for a man who killed four members of a Muslim family in London, Ont. and injured another has been set for January.

Prosecutors and defence lawyers are scheduled to make their submissions on sentencing in the case of Nathaniel Veltman on Jan. 4 and 5.

Veltman, 22, was found guilty last month of four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder for hitting the Afzaal family with his truck while they were out for a walk on June 6, 2021.

The case, which the jury heard over more than two months, was the first where Canada's terrorism laws were put before a jury in a first-degree murder trial.

The judge overseeing the trial, Justice Renee Pomerance, instructed the jury they could convict Veltman of first-degree murder if they unanimously agreed prosecutors had established he intended to kill the victims, and planned and deliberated his attack.

She also told the jurors they could reach that same verdict if they found that the killings were terrorist activity.

However, the terror component isn't a separate charge, and juries don't explain how they reach their verdict, so it's unclear what role -- if any -- the terror allegations played in their decision.

Pomerance may make findings on that issue as part of the sentencing process.

The trial was heard in Windsor, Ont., but the sentencing proceedings will take place in London, the location of the attack.

Before the sentencing hearing, Veltman is due to appear in court by video on Dec. 5.

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