Mom of kids killed in drunk-driving crash asks supporters to write parole board
'Please tell them if you are afraid of what the offender represents,' Jennifer Neville-Lake wrote on Facebook
The mother of three children killed in Vaughan in 2015 has penned a Facebook post asking supporters to tell the Parole Board of Canada how her family's story "has affected and changed you" — nearly three months before the convicted drunk driver can apply for conditional release.
"Please tell them if you are afraid of what the offender represents or may do if he is released and comes back into your community," Jennifer Neville-Lake wrote.
Neville-Lake lost children Daniel, 9, Harrison, 5, and Milly, 2, as well as her father, Gary Neville, 65, on Sept. 27, 2015. A minivan carrying the family members was hit by a speeding SUV driven by Marco Muzzo, who blew through a stop sign on a rural road north of Toronto.
Two other family members, the children's grandmother and great-grandmother, suffered serious injuries in the crash.
Muzzo was sentenced to 10 years in prison in March 2016 after he pleaded guilty to four counts of impaired driving causing death and two counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm.
He will be eligible to apply for day parole in November, full parole in May 2019 and statutory release on June 18, 2022, correctional services told CBC Toronto. Muzzo also faces a 12-year driving ban, which will take effect on his release from custody.
The parole board is responsible for determining an offender's risk when they become eligible for all types of conditional release, except statutory release, spokesperson Holly Knowles explained.
Board members will hold a hearing to review Muzzo's file once he applies for day parole, she said. If he doesn't, his file will automatically be reviewed next year when he becomes eligible for full parole.
Neville-Lake is imploring readers to oppose Muzzo's conditional release, saying "you don't need to know me personally to do this. As a member of the community you only need to be affected by what happened to us."
On the day of the collision, Muzzo returned from a bachelor party in Miami on a private jet, picked up his Jeep from the airport parking lot and drove off. At the time, he was found to have a blood-alcohol level of roughly two to three times the legal limit in Ontario, according to an agreed statement of facts read in court.
"I don't need you to tell me that you have written one and I won't ask you if you did or not; I am just grateful that you have considered it," Neville-Lake said in the post.
Knowles said information from correctional services, the victims, the community, Muzzo's criminal trial and previous convictions will all be taken into account during a parole board hearing.