Jan 06, 2016 - JUDGE FACES TOUGH TASK IN MUZZO CASE [Neville-Lake Family]

While the formalities of an official guilty plea did not take place, lawyer Brian Greenspan’s comments both in and out of court Wednesday leave no doubt as to where his infamous client, Marco Muzzo, is headed — jail.

That won’t be a huge change of scenery for Muzzo, who has been in custody since his arrest in late September, facing a slew of charges in the crash that killed three children and their grandfather. Feb. 4 has been set as the day the guilty pleas will be entered.

Some of the charges will be dropped by the Crown in recognition of their redundant nature but expect to see at least four counts of impaired driving causing death — one for each of the victims.

On that same court date, we are likely to hear for the first time an agreed statement of facts hammered out between the Crown and defence setting out what happened that awful day. A couple of weeks later, on Feb. 23-24, it will be those facts that Crown and defence lawyers work furiously to spin to their respective causes as they make their sentencing submissions.

The Crown has the easier task relying on what is sure to be gut-wrenchingly poignant victim impact statements from the surviving members of the Neville-Lake family. The defence is doubtlessly lining up evidence from friends, family, co-workers and others that can help humanize a man who is viewed by so many as a monster.

But by far the most difficult task will be that of the judge, who is almost certain to adjourn the case several weeks to consider the appropriate judgment. With thousands of eyes watching from the sidelines, he or she will have to muffle cries for vengeance while demonstrating unmerciful recognition for the unfathomable scope of the loss in this case.

So, how many years does justice require? An educated guess would say eight to 10 years.

Eligibility for federal parole begins after one-third of that sentence. Though Muzzo would be an excellent candidate for early release, the enormity of his crime will likely see him spend four to five years behind bars. Cue the understandable howls of disbelief.

Whatever sentence is ultimately doled out, two families will be left in ruins. One, because of the horrific actions imposed on them by a force they cannot ever hope to understand or forgive. The other, because of a simple choice that will overshadow every waking moment of their lives.

— Prutschi is a criminal defence lawyer. www.crimlawcanada.com

Source: Toronto Sun


Last updated on: 2016-02-01 | Link to this post