Alek Minassian found guilty of all 26 counts in Toronto van attack

By Canadian Press	
	 		Verdict expected today in Toronto van attack trial

By Canadian Press Verdict expected today in Toronto van attack trial

A 17-year-old boy accused of stabbing a woman to death last year, also in Toronto, faces terrorism charges after police determined his actions were inspired by the incel movement, CBC reported.

The man rented the van some three weeks before he used it as a weapon on a major Toronto street.

"Mr. Doe thought about committing these crimes over a considerable period of time and made a considered decision to proceed", she said in her judgment, which was delivered via video conference and broadcast on YouTube.

Kim Sauder, an autistic activist who uses the pronouns "she" and "they" interchangeably, said the defence's arguments played into inaccurate stereotypes that autistic people are somehow unsafe, while downplaying other aspects of Minassian's life.

The only other Canadian case that had argued someone was not criminally responsible due to autism was appealed, and Molloy said the appeal judge did not rule on whether autism was a "mental disorder".

As part of her verdict, Justice Anne Molloy said she now believes autism spectrum disorder "qualifies as a mental disorder within the meaning of section 16 of the Criminal Code". People with autism and their advocates said they were concerned that if the judge accepted the line of reasoning, a group of people who are more often the victim of violence, would become associated with the perpetrators of it.

Toronto Mayor John Tory attributed the attacks to the murderer's hatred of women and applauded Molloy's ruling.

Ten people were killed and 16 others were injured on April 23, 2018 along Yonge St. between Finch and Sheppard.

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When the light turned green, he floored it, hopped the curb, and began the attack.

Those that died were Betty Forsyth, Ji Hun Kim, So He Chung, Geraldine Brady, Chul Min Kang, Anne Marie Victoria D'Amico, Munir Najjar, Dorothy Marie Sewell, Andrea Bradden, and Beutis Renuka Amarasingha.

His lawyer argued he didn't know what he was doing was wrong because he has autism spectrum disorder, angering advocates for the rights of autistic individuals. He later admitted to investigators that he was hoping to commit suicide "by cop".

Asked by investigators how he felt about the harm he had caused, the attacker replied: "I feel like I accomplished my mission".

Molloy says it was clear that Minassian wanted to hit these people and murder them.

"There is no doubt he planned this", she said on the live stream.
However, experts were divided on whether he was aware of if his actions were morally wrong, which Molloy said was the central argument for the case.

But the Crown pointed to numerous statements Minassian himself gave to various assessors when he said he knew that killing was morally evil.

The six week trial had heard from several psychiatrists. Minassian had pleaded not guilty and his lawyer argued his client was not criminally responsible.

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