MANDEL: Tough sentences for two shooters

It won’t bring back use of his legs. It won’t free Nassundu Williams from his wheelchair.

But for shooting the father of three in a brazen daylight attack over a political argument, a judge has sent twins Darko and Daniel Stojanovski to prison for 18 years. “This is another tragic case involving the rampant and escalating gun violence in the streets of Toronto,” said Ontario Superior Court Justice Tamarin Dunnet.

“In this case, it is pure luck that one bullet or a combination of bullets did not kill Mr. Williams.”

It’s a story that didn’t even make the papers; just another shooting and this time, no one was killed. For the victim, though, the results are everlasting.

According to his partner’s victim impact statement, Williams used to be a happy man filled with love and a sense of humour. He was hard-working and the sole provider for his family.

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Until May 10, 2016 when the Stojanovski twins came to their Rexdale neighbourhood with loaded .40-caliber handguns in their waistbands.

Now, she told the court, Williams is confined to a wheelchair for life with no use of his legs and limited use of his hands. He’s sustained numerous infections and will require surgery to alleviate the pain caused by his pressure wounds. He suffers from depression and anxiety and feels like “a prisoner in his own body.”

And why? Because he and Darko Stojanovski got into an argument about Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican political activist. The disagreement led to a physical fight and Williams telling the two men not to return to his neighbourhood.

The Stojanovski brothers didn’t take kindly to that directive.

They drove their car towards Mr. Williams and, in a cold-blooded and senseless shooting, they fired their guns at him five times at close range in broad daylight,” the judge said. 

“The first shot hit Mr. Williams in the front and when he turned to run for his life, they continued to shoot him in the back and did not stop until he was down. They fled in their car, unaware of whether Mr. Williams was dead or alive. He was catastrophically injured and rendered an incomplete quadriplegic.”

A jury found the twins guilty of attempted murder and discharging a firearm with intent to endanger life.

The Crown asked for life sentences; the defence urged the judge to impose a 12-year to 15-year term with enhanced credit for the hundreds of days they spent in lockdown at Toronto South Detention Centre due to staff shortages.

In their favour, the judge said the 34-year-old brothers have acquired their high school diplomas while in custody, Darko has taken anger management courses, they aspire to opening their own delivery truck company and have a supportive family.

The ledger on the negative side is far longer.

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They were “driving and walking in Toronto with loaded handguns and with obvious contempt for the lives and safety of others,” the judge said, listing the aggravating factors. “They fired their guns in a residential neighbourhood filled with families and children.

“Before opening fire, they yelled at others to get out of the way. There was the real possibility for others to be hit and seriously wounded or killed; their actions shattered the life of Mr. Williams.”

A man who will never walk again — while these two have the nerve to complain about their poor living conditions at Toronto South.

Dunnet sentenced them to 18 years. With the usual 1.5 credit for their two years in pre-trial custody and an added five months for their “harsh” lockdown days, they’re left to serve 14 years and 5 months.

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“Daniel Stojanovski and Darko Stojanovski committed attempted murder by firing their guns in a populated public place, jeopardizing the lives of others,” the judge said. “They did so out of rage and anger. Their brutal and senseless acts caused catastrophic and permanent paralysis to a husband and father whose family life has been altered forever.

“The public must be protected from these two men and other like-minded individuals must be deterred from resorting to the cruel and callous use of guns in our communities with devastating results.”

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Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies