He said he wished he had said goodbye that morning.
“I’ll never be able to watch TV with her and talk to her about books. Every day I walk past her room and see it’s empty….Every day I wake up and remember she won’t be there,” said Montalto.
He called Nicholas Cruz a “murderous bastard” and said Cruz should have been sentenced to death.
“He shouldn’t live while my sister is rotting in a grave,” Montalto said.
Montalto said he hoped the jurors who voted in favor of a life sentence would regret their decision after hearing his testimony.
Gina Montalto’s father, Tony Montalto, added in court: “If the jury took the evidence presented, there would only be a logical and fact-based conclusion. Unfortunately, the jury ignored the facts and went on emotionally. They were worried about how they felt… [if Cruz] He was executed.”
“Have they thought about what kind of message their judgment sent to our nation’s students and teachers?” He completed. “Have they thought about how to explain their judgment to the victims’ siblings, as my wife and I struggled to do?”
“I don’t think the case was fair to the victims,” he said. “The court allowed the defense to show every aspect” of Cruz’s life prior to the massacre, yet the victims’ families were unable to bring pictures of their loved ones to court or wear pins to honor them.
“The court did everything in its power to dehumanize the beautiful Gina, her classmates and her teachers,” he said. “My family and others had to sit like church rats in the courtroom for fear of affecting the jury.”
He stressed that “this injustice must be corrected. The rights of the victims must be recognized.”