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Muzzo's mom, fiancee describe 'mental anguish' after deadly drunk-driving crash
Sandie Benitah, CP24.com
Published Tuesday, February 23, 2016 6:45PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 23, 2016 7:41PM EST
The judge who is presiding over Marco Muzzo’s sentencing hearing will consider the views of 92 people who have written in, vouching for the York Region man’s character.
Included in the list are the 29-year-old’s mother, fiancée and two younger sisters as well as a priest, neighbours and business associates.
Muzzo, who has pleaded guilty to four counts of impaired driving causing death and two counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm, is also expected to speak on his own behalf when court reconvenes Wednesday morning.
On Tuesday, court heard from the family of three children and their grandfather who were killed in last September’s crash in Vaughan.
Tears flowed in the courtroom as Jennifer Neville-Lake read out her victim impact statement to a packed courtroom, describing how she and her husband are now on suicide watch as they try and deal with the horrific loss of Daniel, 9, Harry, 5, Millie, 2 and her 65-year-old father Gary.
Neville-Lake had harsh words for Muzzo, sobbing as she explained to him how her life had been ruined by his actions.
“You are responsible for us having no more hope, no more joy, no more dreams, no more point to living for me,” she said.
But Muzzo’s supporters say the King Township resident is a hard-worker with a good heart –one that is broken because of his role in this tragedy.
“He is not taking any of this lightly,” his mother Dawn Muzzo wrote in her character reference. “He has sought out the help of the prison chaplain, endlessly has asked to speak with his priest and we have provided him with counseling. He will never be the same.”
Dawn Muzzo also used the opportunity to express her own sadness at the tragedy, saying she prays for the Neville-Lake family.
“Personally speaking, I hurt right down to the bone for the families. I pray for them every night. Marco tells me often, he does too.”
Muzzo’s fiancée Taryn Hampton described him as a “passionate” man who took on the role of father figure for his sisters after his dad passed away.
“He is so compassionate and genuinely cares about others,” she wrote. “On many occasions I have seen first-hand how he goes out of his way to help a friend or family member.”
“Anyone that knows Marco appreciates his sensitivity and can feel the mental anguish he is going through.”
The judge, Justice Michelle Fuerst, will also take Muzzo’s driving record into consideration.
According to court documents, Muzzo has been convicted 10 times for speeding between 2003 and 2015. He has no previous convictions for impaired driving.
Muzzo had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit when his SUV crashed into the Neville-Lake family minivan on Sept. 27, 2015. He escaped with minor injuries. According to court records, Muzzo could barely stand at the crash scene and had urinated himself.
He had just flown to Toronto from his bachelor party in Miami on his family’s private jet and was minutes from his house when the crash occurred.
The children were spending the day with their grandparents and great grandmother.
Muzzo could face up to 10 years in jail.