Nathaniel Veltman, who was found guilty of attacking and killing four members of a Pakistani-origin Muslim family with his pick-up truck in June 2021 in London, Ontario, Canada, is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan 4 and Jan 5 in the coming year, a Windsor court decided during a brief hearing.
Veltman appeared before the Windsor court via video link from the Southwest Detention Centre in the city in southwestern Ontario Friday, Canadian media reported.
Veltman was found guilty of four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder by a jury last month for attacking the Afzaal family with his pick-up truck while they were out for a walk on June 6, 2021.
The victims 46-year-old Salman Afzaal, 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 two-day sentencing hearing in January 2024 will be held at the London Superior Court before Justice Renee Pomerance. Justice Pomerance also oversaw the 11-week trial in Windsor.
While the trial took place before a jury in Windsor, the sentencing is set to take place in London at the request of the victims’ family members.
The attack on the Afzaal family was condemned across Canada. Police labelled it a hate crime with the attack spurring calls for measures to combat Islamophobia in Canada.
During the trial, Veltman had testified that he was influenced by the writings of Brenton Tarrant, the gunman who committed the 2019 mass killings of 51 Muslim worshippers at two mosques in New Zealand.
Veltman had also testified earlier that he ordered a bulletproof vest and a military-style helmet online and wore them on the day he ran down the Afzaals.
He told the jury that he felt an “urge” to hit the family after seeing them, adding that he knew they were Muslims from their appearance.