'I want to know why': Victim impact statements read at sentencing hearing for Joel Scalzo
KITCHENER -- “You stole my son.”
Joanne Maxner has waited more than two years to say those words to Joel Scalzo, the man who fatally shot her son Jeffrey Maxner in 2018.
Family and friends packed a Brantford courtroom Friday for Scalzo’s sentencing hearing.
A total of 49 victim impact statements were submitted to the court but there were so many, a second hearing has been scheduled for later this month.
Family and friends also stood outside the courthouse, holding signs and chanting “Justice for Jeffrey.”
Scalzo has already pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
According to the agreed statement of facts, on New Year’s Day Scalzo fatally shot Jeffrey Maxner in a pharmacy parking lot near Brantford General Hospital.
“It’s just not right,” said his aunt Mae Maxner. “I want to know why. Why did this kid take this gun and shoot my nephew. Why?”
In court, Maxner’s mother shared her grief saying: “On January 1, 2018 my world went dark when you, Joel Scalzo, decided to shoot my son in the back. You stole my son.”
She told CTV News that she wants Scalzo to stay behind bars.
“I want him off the streets so he doesn’t harm another family and another family doesn’t have to go through what we’re going through."
Scalzo’s lawyer is asking for a sentence of seven to nine years, while the Crown wants him to go to prison for between 13 to 15 years.
Maxner’s family, however, says that’s not tough enough.
“I pray for life,” says Joanne. “I prayed this whole time. But I know our system.”
“We don’t have a system here that holds violent criminals responsible for their crimes,” says Jeffery’s cousin Tyler McDougall. “A life isn’t a life anymore.”
Mae Maxner agrees.
“It’s not just a system, it’s a broken system."
Scalzo’s sentencing hearing will continue on September 25.
More victim impact statements will be read and at the conclusion, the judge is expected to hand down Scalzo's sentence.
A second man, Preaktra Chao, has also been charged with first-degree murder but that case has not yet gone to trial.