Anthony Montalto, whose older sister, 14-year-old Gina, was killed, recalled his parents coming home the night of Feb. 14, 2018, with tears in their eyes, telling him his only sibling was dead.
He said he wishes he said goodbye to her that morning.
“I will never be able to watch TV with her, talk about books with her. Every day I walk by her room and see that it’s empty. … Every day I wake up and I remember that she will not be there,” Montalto said.
He called Nikolas Cruz a “murdering bastard” and said Cruz should’ve been sentenced to death.
“He shouldn’t live while my sister rots in a grave,” Montalto said.
Montalto said he hopes the jurors who voted for a life sentence regret their decision after hearing his testimony.
Gina Montalto’s father, Tony Montalto, added in court, “If the jury took in the evidence presented, there is only logical and fact-based outcome. Sadly, the jury ignored the facts and went with emotion. They worried how they’d feel … [if Cruz] was put to death.”
“Did they consider what kind of message their verdict sent to our nation’s students and teachers?” he continued. “Did they consider how they would explain their verdict to the siblings of the victims, as my wife and I struggled to do?”
“I don’t believe the case was fair to the victims. The court allowed the defense to show every aspect” of Cruz’s life before the massacre, he said, yet victims’ families could not bring photos of their loved ones to court or wear pins to honor them.
“The court did everything it could to dehumanize our beautiful Gina, her classmates and her teachers,” he said. “My family and the others had to sit like church mice in the courtroom for fear of influencing the jury.”
“This injustice must be fixed. The victims’ rights must be recognized,” he stressed.