Judge rules today whether convicted killer of London, Ont., Muslim family committed terrorism

The judge overseeing the case of a man convicted of killing a London, Ont., family in 2021 because of their Muslim faith will rule today whether his actions amounted to terrorism in handing down Nathaniel Veltman’s final sentence.

In November, a jury found Veltman, 23, guilty of four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder after a 10-week trial in Windsor. He attacked the Afzaal family with his pickup truck on June 6, 2021, while they were out for a walk in London, and later told police he wanted to send a message to Muslims.

Yumnah Afzaal, 15, her parents — Madiha Salman, 44, an engineer, and Salman Afzaal, 46, a physiotherapist — were killed, as was family matriarch Talat Afzaal, 74, a teacher and artist. The boy who survived was among dozens of people who gave victim impact statements in January during the first part of the sentencing.

The jury’s reasoning for the verdict wasn’t released. However, they reached the decision based on two premises: They were convinced his actions were planned and deliberate, or — in a Canadian first — they amounted to terrorism, which is defined as an attempt to intimidate the public or a segment of the population based on political, ideological or religious grounds.

Read more: CBC News (Canada)