Marco Muzzo, an Ontario man convicted of impaired driving in a 2015 crash that killed three children and their grandfather, is scheduled to appear for a parole hearing next month.
The 32-year-old pleaded guilty in March 2016 to several counts of impaired driving causing death and bodily harm for the crash that killed nine-year-old Daniel Neville-Lake, his five-year-old brother Harrison, their two-year-old sister Milly and the children’s 65-year-old grandfather Gary Neville.
The children’s grandmother Neriza Neville and great-grandmother Josefina Frias were also injured in the minivan but survived the crash.
Muzzo, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison, is seeking day parole. He is eligible to apply for full parole in May 2019.
“Day parole often involves greater supervision than full parole and would require Mr. Muzzo to return each night to jail or a community residence (often called a halfway house),” Toronto criminal defence lawyer Daniel Brown said in an email.
“Day parole would allow Mr. Muzzo to participate in employment or volunteer efforts in order to prepare him for full parole.”
The children’s parents, Jennifer Neville-Lake and Ed Lake, plan to attend the hearing on Nov. 7 at the Beaver Creek Institution in Gravenhurst.
The Neville-Lake children and their grandfather were killed after a SUV driven by Muzzo plowed through a stop sign and T-boned a minivan in a rural area north of Toronto on Sept. 27, 2015.
EXTENDED: Former Parole Board of Canada member explains hearing process.
During the trial, the court heard Muzzo had two breathalyzer test results of more than twice the legal limit following the crash.
Muzzo had been eligible to apply for unescorted temporary absences (UTA) from prison last year.
Brown told Global News at the time that applying for a UTA is the first step on a person’s way to parole, but emphasized that the application is closely scrutinized by the parole and probation officers.
He added that three in 10 inmates will be granted parole on their first attempt and those granted day or full parole have more than a 97 per cent chance successfully completing their sentence without committing further crimes.
“The parole board will consider Mr. Muzzo’s lack of criminal history, his behaviour in jail and his release plan in addition to the remorse he expressed for his crimes including his guilty plea in determining whether he should be granted parole,” Brown said.
“Marco Muzzo is likely an excellent candidate for both day and full parole based on all of these factors.”
The Muzzo family, one of Canada’s wealthiest, owns the drywall company Marel Contractors and is worth nearly $1.8 billion, according to Canadian Business magazine.
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–With a file from Caryn Lieberman