Turcotte’s defense ends after 5 days of closing arguments

Turcotte’s defense ends after 5 days of closing arguments

ST-JEROME, Que. — Guy Turcotte’s lawyer completed his closing arguments Tuesday by saying his client was sick when he stabbed his children to death in 2009.

Pierre Poupart said an “ordinary” human being does not kill his kids.

Poupart told the 11 jurors at the first-degree murder trial that even if they disagree with the defence’s claim that Turcotte, 43, should be found not criminally responsible due to mental illness, the Crown still had to prove he intended to murder his children.

Moreover, the lawyer asked the jury why, if Turcotte was not suffering from a mental illness the night he stabbed his kids, did he stay at the scene of the crime to be arrested, accused of murder and sent to prison

Poupart said the psychiatric evidence supports the defence’s claim that the ex-doctor is not criminally responsible by way of mental disorder in the slayings of Olivier, 5, and Anne-Sophie, 3.

Defence experts testified that Turcotte was suffering from an adjustment disorder and was exhibiting signs of anxiety and depression the fateful night in February 2009.

They said in their 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.

Defence expert witnesses said Turcotte had a “disturbed” grasp of reality.

Crown psychiatrist France Proulx told jurors, however, the accused did not lose contact with reality the night he stabbed his kids and that his judgment was not altered.

Poupart told jurors they need to ask themselves if the Crown’s claims are reasonable, because…”an ordinary human being does not kill his kids.”

He reminded jurors of the testimony of psychiatrist Dominique Bourget, who said Turcotte had a “sick mind” the night of Feb. 20, 2009, and that his brain was not functioning properly.

According to her, Turcotte was unable to have the intention to kill because his brain was already disconnected from reality.

Turcotte had “lost control” and couldn’t act otherwise, she said.

“He didn’t want to kill them, he wanted to take his children with him,” Poupart said.

“If we try to understand, it’s very difficult because we have to understand the irrational,” said Poupart, referring to Bourget’s testimony.

The Crown is scheduled to present its closing arguments Wednesday.

Superior Court Justice Andre Vincent is expected to give his instructions to the jurors on Thursday before they are sequestered as they deliberate the verdict.

Stephanie Marin, The Canadian Press

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