Jurors find Zach Wittke guilty of first-degree murder

Zachary Wittke, 22, is facing several charges, including first-degree murder, in the Sept. 2017 crash in Arnprior that killed 65-year-old Sheila Welsh.

The man charged in the first-degree murder of 65-year-old Sheila Welsh has been found guilty.

Zachary Wittke was sentenced to life in prison, with no eligibility of parole for 25 years.

Jurors in Ottawa came down with their decision Thursday afternoon.

The 22-year-old Eganville man was accused of intentionally slamming a stolen truck into Welsh's car, killing her in Arnprior in September of 2017.

He had pled not guilty. Defence lawyer Paolo Giancaterino wanted the jury to consider a lesser conviction, of manslaughter, not murder.

Last week, Wittke had testified in his own defence that he never intended to collide into Welsh's vehicle, telling court he thought it was a barricade.

After being sequestered for two days, the jury delivered their decision- finding Wittke guilty of murder.

Welsh's children read victim impact statements in court saying they have been dealing with guilt and depression. They says they feel pain when they drive past the intersection where the collision happened every day to take their children to school. They said whatever the verdict was they knew it would not bring their mother back but would hopefully lead to closure.

Jason Welsh told CTV News outside the courtroom room he “wanted justice to be served.”

“We would like to thank the Crown, law enforcement and support staff for their diligence and pursuit of justice for our mother Sheila," says Welsh. "We would like to thank our family and friends for their continue support during this long process. This day brings a sense of closure in this long painful journey of our family . The decision will hopefully give us a sense of peace and healing.”

Sheila Welsh’s daughter Sarah says she feels “relieved and is looking forward to the closure of the whole process.”

Welsh’s children hope this verdict sends a message that violence will not be tolerated in the community.