Turcotte trial: day 7 of jury deliberations tomorrow

Turcotte trial: day 7 of jury deliberations tomorrow

SAINT-JEROME, Que. — The jurors at Guy Turcotte’s murder trial will continue their deliberations on Sunday after failing to reach a verdict Saturday.

Turcotte, 43, is charged with first-degree murder in the 2009 stabbing deaths of his children, Olivier, 5, and Anne-Sophie, 3.

The jurors returned to court Saturday on Day 6 of their deliberations to ask the judge for clarifications on a Criminal Code provision pertaining to the defence of not criminally responsible.

Turcotte admitted to causing the children’s deaths but his lawyer argued the jury should find him not criminally responsible by way of mental disorder.

The three other possible verdicts are convictions on first-degree murder, second-degree murder or manslaughter.

Sec. 16 of the Criminal Code states that an accused must be found not criminally responsible if a mental disorder rendered that person “incapable of appreciating the nature and quality of the act…or of knowing that it was wrong.”

The jurors wanted to know whether, in order to reach a verdict of not criminally responsible, they had to conclude Turcotte was incapable of appreciating the nature of the acts as well as not knowing they were wrong.

Quebec Superior Court Justice Andre Vincent told the seven men and four women that only one of the two criteria is required for a verdict of not criminally responsible.

“The important word is ‘or’,” Vincent said.

This is Turcotte’s second trial on the charges. In 2011, a verdict of not criminally responsible took that jury six days of deliberations to reach.

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