Parkland Verdict: Victim’s Grandmother Tells Gunman He’s ‘Burning in Hell’
Anthony Montalto, whose older sister, 14-year-old Gina, was killed, recalled how his parents came home on the night of February 14, 2018, with tears in their eyes, telling him that his only sibling was dead.
He said he wished he had said goodbye to her that morning.
“I will never be able to watch television with her, talk about books with her. Every day I pass by her room and see that it is empty. … Every day I wake up and remember she’s not going to be there,” Montalto said.
He called Nikolas Cruz a “murderer bastard” and said Cruz should have been sentenced to death.
“You shouldn’t live while my sister rots in her grave,” Montalto said.
Montalto said he hopes jurors who voted for the life sentence will regret their decision after hearing his testimony.
Gina Montalto’s father, Tony Montalto, added in court: “If the jury took the evidence presented, there is only a logical outcome based on the facts. Unfortunately, the jury ignored the facts and went with emotions. They were worried about how he would feel… [if Cruz] was sentenced to death.”
“Did they consider what message their ruling sent to our nation’s students and teachers?” he continued. “Did they think about how they would explain their verdict to the brothers and sisters of the victims, as my wife and I tried to do?”
“I don’t believe the case was fair to the victims. The court allowed the defense to show every aspect” of Cruz’s life before the massacre, he said, but the victims’ families could not bring photos of their loved ones to court or wear pins in their honor.
“The court has done everything it can to dehumanize our beautiful Gina, her classmates and her teachers,” he said. “My family and others had to sit like church mice in the courtroom for fear of influencing the jury.”
“This injustice must be corrected. The rights of the victims must be recognized,” he stressed.
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