‘Loving father’ Turcotte doesn’t fit portrait of a killer, lawyer argues

‘Loving father’ Turcotte doesn’t fit portrait of a killer, lawyer argues

Main pic: Guy Turcotte leaves the courtroom during a recess in his murder trial at the courthouse in Saint Jerome, Que., September 28, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz.

SAINT JEROME, Que. — It is inconceivable that a loving and attentive father like Guy Turcotte could have killed his children unless he was suffering from mental illness, his lawyer argued Thursday.

Lead defence lawyer Pierre Poupart reminded the 11-person jury that Turcotte’s close associates had consistently described him throughout the trial as an affectionate and doting father.

Turcotte, 43, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the 2009 slayings of his son Olivier, 5, and daughter Anne-Sophie, 3.

The ex-doctor has admitted to causing the children’s deaths, but his lawyers argue he should be found not criminally responsible by way of mental disorder.

“Remind yourselves that this loving father caused the deaths of his children in circumstances we all know,” Poupart said on the third day of his closing arguments. “Something must have happened.”

The veteran lawyer argued that witness testimony describing Turcotte as a polite person and appreciated colleague did not fit the portrait of someone who would intentionally commit murder.

Defence experts testified earlier that Turcotte was suffering from an adjustment disorder and was exhibiting signs of anxiety and depression.

They said at varying points in the testimony that Turcotte was in an acute suicidal state and suffering from a major mental illness that prevented him from developing an intent to kill or to realize what he was doing was wrong.

But the Crown’s rebuttal witnesses testified that a person suffering from an adjustment disorder doesn’t lose contact with reality or a sense of responsibility for his or her actions.

On Thursday, Poupart continued an earlier argument that the murder was not an act of revenge by Turcotte against his ex-wife, Isabelle Gaston, who had been unfaithful to him.

He cited the testimony of a nurse who said Turcotte repeatedly told her the day after the killings that he loved his wife.

Another nurse, Mylene Paquin, testified earlier that Turcotte told her his wife “did everything she wanted, had everything she wanted, and travelled as she wanted.”

Poupart said Turcotte’s attitude was not that of someone who wanted revenge.

Stephanie Marin, The Canadian Press

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