Defence seeks to throw out Windsor mayor’s statement in sentencing hearing
Windsor police remain on the scene of an assault at Little River Road near the Ganatchio Trail in Windsor, Ont., on Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017. (Angelo Aversa / CTV Windsor)
WINDSOR, ONT. -- Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens has written a “community victim statement” for the sentencing of Habibullah “Danny” Ahmadi.
The 24-year-old was convicted of second degree murder in November in the beating of Sara Ann Widholm, 75.
On Oct. 8, 2017, Widholm was attacked while walking on the Ganatchio Trail just before 8 a.m.
The attack “shocked the community to its core,” the mayor wrote in his statement.
Defence lawyer, Patricia Brown, believes the mayor’s entire statement should not be considered because it offers opinions about the nature of the crime, which are not true.
Brown acknowledges the mayor’s thoughts about the community impact of the attack are justified, but says his words “crimes like the savage beating of Sara Ann just don’t happen in the City of Windsor," are inaccurate.
Brown says she did a quick google search and found a few examples of violence against elderly victims, by strangers in the community over time.
Widholm suffered multiple blunt force injuries to her head, which left her in a “persistent vegetative state” for more than 14 months until she died on Dec. 17, 2018.
Ahmadi pleaded not guilty during his trial and his lawyers argued he was high on magic mushrooms that morning and did not realize what he was doing.
Assistant crown attorney Renee Puskas told the court she read all of the victim impact statements for content that was allowable under the law.
With respect to the mayor’s statement, Puskas told the court “I don’t think it should be edited at all,” arguing Dilkens’ comments are as necessary as that of members of the Widholm family.
Justice Bruce Thomas ruled the mayor’s statement was admissible for the sentencing hearing because it offers “insight into the impact this offence had on the community.”