Drunk driver Marco Muzzo, who killed three children and their grandfather in a Vaughan, Ont. crash in 2015, has been granted full parole.
The Parole Board of Canada made the decision during a virtual hearing held on Tuesday.
Appearing before the board via videoconference, Muzzo, wearing a dark-coloured dress shirt, a face mask and shield, said his victims’ names for the first time in any official setting.
“I’d like to start off always thoughts and prayers always with the Neville-Lake family, Neville family and Frais family,” he said.
“My heart bleeds every day, me knowing my actions killed their three beautiful children Daniel, Harry and Milly and a loving and probably awesome grandfather Gary.”
His words came after four victim impact statements were heard, including one read by the children’s mother Jennifer Neville-Lake, who says Muzzo still does not take full responsibility for his “disgusting actions.”
“I have never heard him say, I, Marco Muzzo, killed nine-year-old Daniel Neville-Lake, five-year-old Harrison Neville-Lake, two-year-old Milly Neville-Lake and 65-year-old Gary Neville,” she said.
“I, Marco Muzzo, am the man who killed all three of Jennifer Neville-Lake’s children because I am a selfish and irresponsible drunk driver.”
Neville-Lake said Muzzo instead “expresses his scripted idea of remorse.”
The now-34-year-old was first granted day parole in April 2020. He was then granted six more months of day parole in November.
At the time of the deadly crash, Muzzo was driving home from Toronto Pearson International Airport. He had just flown in from Miami, where he was celebrating his bachelor party.
The children’s 64-year-old grandmother and 91-year-old great-grandmother were also seriously injured as Muzzo sped through a stop sign in his Jeep Cherokee and smashed into the family’s mini-van.
According to an agreed statement of facts read in court, a police officer called to the scene said Muzzo had glossy eyes, smelled of alcohol and had urinated himself.
A toxicologist discovered that Muzzo was about three times over the legal limit of alcohol consumption while behind the wheel.
Muzzo pleaded guilty to four counts of impaired driving causing death and two counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm. In March 2016, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison, along with a 12-year driving prohibition.
Muzzo was released from a minimum security prison in May 2020 and has been living at a community facility since then with special conditions.
Those special conditions will also be applied to his full parole, including no consumption of alcohol, avoiding drinking establishments, avoiding direct or indirect contact with his victims, and not attending Brampton or York Region.
His statutory release date was June 18, 2022 and his warrant expiry date – the end of his sentence – is July 28, 2025.
Low risk to reoffend, parole officer says
At Tuesday’s hearing, Muzzo’s parole officer outlined his plans to reintegrate into society and said he is at low risk to reoffend.
She said Muzzo has been “consistently positive” since being released on day parole last year and has respected all of his conditions.
According to the parole officer, since his release, Muzzo has been maintaining employment through his family’s business, working reduced hours and has volunteered building a homeless shelter for men.
“He takes full responsibility for his actions, it is evident in conversations with him,” she said. “He displays insight and understanding into his offence.”
“He will continue to engage in counselling for a long period of time.”
The parole officer added that Muzzo had no prior criminal history, noting he did have several traffic violations on his driving record and was taken into police custody in 2012 due to public intoxication.