Anthony Montalto, whose older sister Gina, 14, was killed, recalled his parents coming home on the night of February 14, 2018, with tears in their eyes, telling him that their only brother had died.
He said he wished he could say goodbye to her that morning.
“I will never be able to watch TV with her, talk about books with her. Every day I pass by his room and see that it is empty. … Every day I wake up and remember that she’s not going to be there,” Montalto said.
He called Nikolas Cruz a “murderous stick” and said Cruz should have been sentenced to death.
“I shouldn’t live while my sister rots in a grave,” Montalto said.
Montalto said he hopes jurors who voted for life in prison will regret their decision after hearing his testimony.
Gina Montalto’s father, Tony Montalto, added in court: “If the jury accepted the evidence presented, there is only one logical, fact-based outcome. Unfortunately, the jury ignored the facts and went with emotion. they worried how they would feel… [if Cruz] was sentenced to death.”
“Did they consider what kind of message their verdict sent to the students and teachers of our country?” it continued. “Did they consider how they would explain their verdict to the victims’ siblings, as my wife and I struggled to do?”
“I don’t think the case was fair to the victims. The court allowed the defense to show all aspects” of Cruz’s life before the massacre, he said, but the victims’ families were not allowed to bring photos of their loved ones in court or bring them. pine trees to honor them.
“The court went out of its way to dehumanize our beautiful Gina, her peers and her teachers,” he said. “My family and others had to sit like church mice in the courtroom for fear of influencing the jury.”
“This injustice must be fixed. The rights of the victims must be recognized,” he stressed.