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The trial for the man accused of deliberately driving a truck into a Muslim family continued Wednesday with the jury learning the official causes of the deaths of four members of the Afzaal family.
The Crown read to the court that Salman Afzaal, 46, his 44-year-old wife, Madiha Salman, their 15-year-old daughter, Yumna, and her grandmother, Talat Afzaal, all sustained blunt force injuries, fractures and internal bleeding and the cause of death for all is listed as “multiple trauma.” As well, the jury heard that Talat Afzaal likely died on impact.
The accused, Nathaniel Veltman, 22, has pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder. Prosecutors have alleged his actions in London, Ont., on June 6, 2021 amount to an act of terrorism and argued he was motivated by white nationalist beliefs.
The day’s proceedings were brief, with the jury dismissed around noon Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, Const. Sarah Cochrane again took the stand, this time facing questions from defence lawyer Christopher Hicks.
Cochrane was the first officer on scene at Cherryhill Mall on the evening of June 6, 2021, where Veltman was arrested. Surveillance footage of his arrest was again played for the jury, with Hicks asking Cochrane if the accused was “compliant at all times.”
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“Mr. Veltman was cooperative,” she confirmed.
Hicks also noted that Veltman was first arrested for “dangerous operation” at 8:47 p.m. but he was not read his rights or primary caution at that time. He was, however, read both when he was arrested for attempt murder three minutes later and then again when he was arrested for first-degree murder at 8:55 p.m.
The jury then rewatched footage of Veltman and officers inside of police headquarters, without audio. Again, Hicks had Cochrane confirm that Veltman remained “compliant and cooperative” throughout their interaction.
Cochrane’s interactions with Veltman on the night of his arrest lasted roughly an hour, ending with him being taken to a phone-room.
The trial, which is taking place in Windsor, Ont., is expected to last six more weeks, including the remainder of this week.