Marco Muzzo, 29, was sentenced to 10 years in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to killing three children and their grandfather while driving drunk in September, 2015.
The sentence, though ‘fairly high’ according to the CEO for MADD Canada, left some people wondering whether or not Muzzo’s sentence should be longer.
The sentence, which also includes a 12-year driving ban following jail time, is the highest in recent memory for a drunk driving causing death conviction in Ontario. But MADD Canada CEO Andy Murie said Muzzo’s sentence won’t provide any satisfaction for the family of those whom he killed.
“In fairness this is a penalty that is fairly high,” Murie said. “Even though some people would say ‘Four deaths, 10 years, is that really enough?’”
“From that perspective I think the crown attorney did a really good job in putting their case together and (determining) what the appropriate sentence should be,” he said.
“It does move the bar, so the next time there is a horrible crash like this and results in this type of tragedy the offender in that case can expect a sentence in this range or higher.”
But he said it’s a different situation from the victim’s perspective.
“Balanced against what the family is going through, there’s no satisfaction there whatsoever.”
Muzzo was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty in a crash north of Toronto that killed three children and their grandfather.
“In one fell swoop he decimated an entire generation of the Neville-Lake family,” Justice Michelle Fuerst said in her ruling.
She said the length of the sentence was proportionate to the gravity of the case and based on a number of factors, including his “irresponsible attitude toward the privilege of driving.”
Fuerst also said the guilty plea was an indication of his “remorse and willingness to accept responsibility for his conduct.”
Speaking out after the sentencing hearing, Jennifer Neville-Lake, the mother of the three dead children didn’t say whether she thought Muzzo’s sentence was appropriate but lamented the fact that her childrens’ lives were shorter than his prison sentence.
“All I can think is that my children never made it to 10 years,” she told reporters. “His sentence is ten years and none of my children saw ten years.”
WATCH: Jennifer Neville-Lake reacts to the 10-year sentence
The sentence is more than what Muzzo’s defence attorney asked for (eight years) and under what the crown wanted (12 years).
“Muzzo took full responsibility for his actions and today he fully accepts the sentence imposed on him,” his defence lawyer Brian Greenspan said outside the Newmarket courthouse.
Greenspan wouldn’t comment Tuesday when asked how Muzzo was feeling after the sentencing.
Murie said the case is polarizing for the public, but that doesn’t have any bearing on sentencing.
“The general public wants life, but you can’t go there because the circumstances doesn’t allow the law to go there,” Murie explained.
“So even though it does move things in the right direction it doesn’t bring any satisfaction anywhere.”
Reaction from the public was varied – some agree saying the sentence “sounds reasonable,” others did not.
With files from David Shum.