“Revenge”, says Crown in Turcotte trial

“Revenge”, says Crown in Turcotte trial

SAINT-JEROME, Que. — The Crown in Guy Turcotte’s first-degree murder trial completed its final arguments Wednesday, saying the accused had decided to commit suicide in February 2009 and wanted to kill his children to ensure they weren’t raised by another man.

Turcotte is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the stabbing deaths of Olivier, 5, and daughter Anne-Sophie, 3.

“He failed in his most important role with Anne-Sophie and Olivier, namely to protect them against his fear of being cast aside as a father, against his anger and against his desire for revenge,” said Crown prosecutor Rene Verret.

The 11 jurors will receive final instructions on Monday from Quebec Superior Court Justice Andre Vincent before they’re sequestered to determine the ex-doctor’s fate.

Turcotte, 43, has admitted to causing the deaths but his lawyer is seeking a verdict of not criminally responsible by way of mental disorder.

Verret took less than one full day to go over his case, saying Turcotte consumed windshield washer fluid only after stabbing his children to death, contradicting a key defence argument.

The defence contends Turcotte was in an acute suicidal state and began drinking the washer fluid to kill himself before he decided to take his children with him when he felt he was dying.

Defence expert witnesses testified Turcotte was suffering from an adjustment disorder and was anxious and depressed the night of the slayings. They said he was suffering from mental illness that prevented him from understanding his actions or developing intent.

But the prosecutor argued the acts were premeditated in that he planned them a few hours before they took place after discovering emails between Isabelle Gaston, his estranged wife at the time, and her new boyfriend.

Verret reminded the jury of the anger Turcotte showed toward Gaston and Martin Huot with angry emails and phone calls the evening the children were stabbed to death.

“He wanted to kill himself but he first wanted to kill his children because he did not want them to grow up with another man,” Verret said.

The Crown said Turcotte’s intention to kill his children that night was clear and that the prosecution didn’t need to prove a motive, although Verret suggested vengeance against his ex-wife as one hypothesis.

“When a man stabs his children, who are five and three years old, 46 times, we presume that he intended to cause their deaths,” said Verret.

Verret said Turcotte’s own testimony demonstrates the accused understood he was causing harm to Anne-Sophie and Olivier as he stabbed them.

On the issue of methanol poisoning, Verret said the only evidence Turcotte drank the liquid beforehand came from the accused.

The prosecutor told the jury he based his assertion on several pieces of evidence, including blood present on the washer bottle and a nearby glass.

Gaston, the mother of the two children, was present in the courtroom, crying at times.

Verret’s relatively short closing came after defence attorney Pierre Poupart’s final arguments, which spanned five days.

Poupart told the jury an “ordinary” human being doesn’t kill his kids and that the Crown, even if it didn’t agree with the defence’s mental illness argument, still needed to prove Turcotte intended to kill his children.

Stephanie Marin, The Canadian Press

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