Guy Turcotte was found guilty of non-premeditated murder of his two children, after his second trial. The jurors had serious air when they entered the courtroom. They made their decision just after noon, the seventh day of their deliberations.
Sitting in the dock, Mr. Turcotte had no reaction. He seemed resigned. Isabelle Gaston, sitting in the first row, began to cry. Someone said, “Yes, thank you.”
The unpremeditated murder automatically entail life imprisonment with a minimum sentence of 10-25 years in prison before being eligible for parole. It is the judge who decides the period of ineligibility, but the jury may make a recommendation. The jury returned to the deliberation room to make a decision, and finally declined the invitation. The performances will be held on the sentence Dec. 18.
Mr. Turcotte did not come out of the room since it is held at the verdict.
The Crown prosecutor René Verret, who officiated in this second trial with his colleague Ms. Maria Albanese, argued that they were satisfied with the verdict. “The jury did a thorough job,” he said, before thanking everyone, including three doctors who testified for the Crown or the psychiatrist France Proulx, psychiatrist Pierre Bleau, and physician toxicologist Martin Laliberté.
In the verdict, Isabelle Gaston said he was relieved, shocked. “I wanted to get up and say thank you. I am at peace with life now. When you’re a mother or a father, you have to fight for your children. If we accept the violence of a person, it is as if one were to accept the violence of all. It would be a big mistake. We must respect life. I have lost my children, tomorrow I do not get up with my children … We can blame me many things, but two children were killed. ”
Ms. Gaston also spoke of psychiatric assessments that have been a workhorse for it after the first trial. “In the ideal scenario, there will be self-monitoring will require strict rules. Psychiatry, it is not so esoteric than that. ”
A drama, two trials
The tragedy occurred on Feb. 20, 2009, in a context of separation from his wife, Isabelle Gaston. One cardiologist who practiced the profession at the Hotel-Dieu of St. Jerome had stabbed his children repeatedly, in the house he was renting Piedmont for three weeks. He had drunk washer to commit suicide. The tragedy was discovered the next day when his parents worried, presented themselves at home. Everything was locked and no one came to answer. They called 911.
Around 11 h 30 in the morning, the police were breaking into the house and had discovered the lifeless body of Oliver, five, and Anne-Sophie, three years, in their respective chamber. They had been stabbed repeatedly. Mr. Turcotte was found under his bed stained with vomit and blood of its children. He had to be treated for methanol poisoning, what he has not retained any physical sequelae. Mr. Turcotte presented a defense of not responsible on account of mental disorder at both trials. In both cases, the jury had to choose between the same verdicts: not guilty by reason of mental disorder, guilty of premeditated murder, not guilty of premeditated murder or guilty of manslaughter. On the sixth day of deliberations, July 5, 2011, the jury in the first trial had concluded that Mr. Turcotte was not criminally responsible.
The outcome of this first trial had raised the ire of the population. Many people do not admit that Mr. Turcotte, that suited having killed his children, or found not responsible. After the verdict, Mr. Turcotte had been transferred from prison to the Philippe Pinel Institute, where he remained until December 2012. He was then released, but had to submit to certain conditions, it always respected.
In November 2013, the Court of Appeal ordered a new trial after identifying an error of law in the instructions to the jury. This error was related to methanol poisoning.
During the trial, the jury asked a few questions: he wanted to have the definition of Article 16 (on NCR) and Article 235 (. Relating to murder) Wednesday, he asked rehear the testimony of the psychiatrist Pierre Bleau. It did not evaluate Mr. Turcotte and knew only the surface of the case. He downplayed the impact of an adjustment disorder on the free will of a person and described the disorder as “hay of psychiatry.”
Finally, Saturday, the jury asked whether to declare Mr. Turcotte not responsible, it was necessary that it meets two criteria in Article 16, or be incapable of appreciating the nature and quality of his acts or does not know they were bad. The answer was in the word “or”. One of the criteria is sufficient to be found not criminally responsible.
This option has not been finally adopted.