The high-profile first-degree murder trial of Nathaniel Veltman is slated to commence its proceedings on the forthcoming Monday at Windsor Superior Courthouse. Notably, the trial duration, initially anticipated to span between 12 and 14 weeks, is now predicted to require only a half of this period.
This revelation emerged following a discussion this week between the defence and the Crown over the roster of witnesses. “Initially, the prosecution had plans to summon more than 40 witnesses. Therefore, taking prudent measures, we had allocated a three-month duration for the trial to ensure its smooth conduct and to adequately brief the jurors about the time they would need to dedicate to serving their community,” articulated Christopher Hicks, Nathaniel Veltman’s defence counsel. He added, “But after rigorous consultations, the decision to pare down the number of called witnesses resulted in reducing the trial’s projected timeframe by half.”
Veltman is currently accused of four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder. The charges stem from his alleged involvement in the tragic demise of three generations of the Muslim Afzaal family from London, Ontario.
In June 2021, the victims were reportedly out for a stroll along Hyde Park Road in west London when they fell prey to a pick-up truck incident. The casualties include a mother, father, daughter aged 15, and a grandmother, while the sole survivor, a boy of 9 years old at the time of the tragedy, is currently 11 and resides with his kin. The law enforcement authorities had labeled the incident as hate-motivated at the time of occurrence.
Defence attorney, Hicks, based in Toronto, boasts a rich history of participation in several high-visibility trials, including the Bandidos Biker murder case that took place in a region southwest of London. Hicks acknowledges the intense scrutiny directed toward his current case.
“This case has already earned a notorious reputation,” Hicks remarks. He adds, “In light of the four counts of first-degree murder, coupled with a charge of terrorism, it holds the potential of leaving an indelible mark in the legal arenas.”