Marco Muzzo, who was convicted in a drunk driving crash in Vaughan that left three children and their grandfather dead, has been denied both day parole and full parole.
The Parole Board of Canada made the decision at a hearing held on Wednesday morning in Gravenhurst, Ont. Muzzo would have been eligible for day parole on Friday and full parole in May, according to Correctional Service Canada.
Muzzo stood in front of the board and said he was incredibly sorry for the September 2015 crash that left nine-year-old Daniel Neville-Lake, five-year-old Harrison Neville-Lake, two-year-old Milly Neville-Lake, and 65-year-old Gary Neville dead.
Muzzo was on his way home from the Toronto airport at the time after returning from Miami, where he celebrated his bachelor party.
According to an agreed statement of facts read in court, a police officer, who was 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.
At the hearing, Muzzo vowed that he would never drink again. The 32-year-old added that his remorse feels like a life sentence he has put on himself.
“I should have known better but I took a chance,” he said while wiping away tears. “I felt fine but there was that slight grogginess.”
He said he still remembers the screams from the scene of the deadly crash.
“It’s something I can’t forget.”
Muzzo was sentenced back in March 2016 to 10 years behind bars after pleading guilty to four counts of impaired driving causing death and two counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm.
Speaking at the hearing on Wednesday, the children’s mother said Muzzo’s “claims of remorse ring hollow.”
“I don’t and won’t get a chance of parole from the life sentence of misery and despair,” Jennifer Neville-Lake said. “The house is quiet, I only hear myself breathe and the heartache I live with every day.”
Jennifer Neville-Lake was seated about two feet away from Muzzo during the hearing. She could not see the expression on his face as he spoke.
During the hearing, she presented photos of each of her family members who died in the crash.
“The reason I wanted to show you these photos is because although parole, both day and full parole, were denied, it won’t change a thing for me. I still will go home, still be empty, still stare at urns, still stare at photos because of an impaired driver who took innocent lives,” she told reporters after the decision was made.
She said she was “a bit surprised” by the parole board’s decision but stressed it does not change what she goes home to every night.
“There’s no win,” she said.
“It’s not a victory because it doesn’t change a single thing for me other than maybe knowing that if something as horrific as this happens again they have our case as a precedent and really that is all I can do at this point.”
Jennifer Neville-Lake said she does not believe Muzzo has fully accepted what he did.
“You have to accept what you did – own it. I didn’t feel that was genuine. I’ve always kind of felt that was something he was told to say,” she said.
Muzzo has six months to appeal the decision made on Wednesday and he will be eligible to reapply in one year.