A woman stops to pay her respect at a makeshift memorial to one of the victims being remembered on Tuesday, April 23, 2019. Victims and families of Toronto’s deadly van attack are set to give statements in court today.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

A woman stops to pay her respect at a makeshift memorial to one of the victims being remembered on Tuesday, April 23, 2019. Victims and families of Toronto’s deadly van attack are set to give statements in court today.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Sentencing hearing begins for Toronto’s van attacker

Alek Minassian was found guilty of 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 of attempted murder

A sentencing hearing in the case of Toronto’s deadly van attack has begun, with survivors, families of victims and community members affected by tragedy expected to give statements in court today.

Eight women and two men died on April 23, 2018 when a 25-year-old man bent on infamy, angered by women who wouldn’t sleep with him and radicalized in the bowels of the internet deliberately drove a rented van down a busy sidewalk.

Another woman died more than three years later from injuries suffered that day.

The sentencing hearing for Alek Minassian could last multiple days as it will hear from several dozen people affected by the attack.

He was found guilty last year of 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder.

First-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence without the ability to apply for parole for 25 years.

Several victims and families say they are preparing for an emotional few days in court but are going in feeling strong.

It will be their first opportunity to face the killer in person after the judge-alone trial and verdict occurred over videoconference during the pandemic.

Betty Forsyth, Ji Hun Kim, So He Chung, Geraldine Brady, Chul Min Kang, Anne Marie D’Amico, Munir Najjar, Dorothy Sewell, Andrea Bradden and Beutis Renuka Amarasingha and Amaresh Tesfamariam died as a result of attack.

—The Canadian Press

RELATED: Toronto van attack suspect faces 10 counts of first-degree murder

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