Gatineau man pleads guilty in 2013 strangling death of roommate

Gatineau man pleads guilty in 2013 strangling death of roommate

A Gatineau man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter for strangling his roommate to death in 2013.

Alain ​Blais, who is in his 60s, was initially charged with second-degree murder after the body of his 41-year-old roommate, Marie-Josée Guenette, was found in a garbage bag left in a recycling bin outside a home on rue Montpetit in October 2013.

Gatineau police were called to the home after a man told people at a local shelter that he had done something irreparable.

But police said they found nothing abnormal when they searched the home that day. They contacted witnesses, including the victim's family, before sending the case to their criminal investigations division.

The following day, Gatineau police said the same man went to the Ottawa police station on Elgin Street and confessed to a killing. Ottawa police arrested him and contacted Gatineau police, who went back to the house and found a woman's body outside.

In a Gatineau courtroom Friday, Blais pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter. The judge sentenced him to 12 years in prison after a joint submission from the Crown and defence.

With credit for time served, Blais is expected to serve about another six years and 10 months in prison.