Judge begins final instructions for jury in Quebec City Halloween murder trial

·2 min read

QUEBEC — A Quebec Superior Court judge has begun delivering final instructions to the 11-person jury that will determine the fate of the man accused in Quebec City's fatal Halloween 2020 sword attack.

Carl Girouard, 26, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of François Duchesne, 56, and Suzanne Clermont, 61. He is also charged with five counts of attempted murder in the attack in the city's historic Old Quebec district.

He has admitted to using a sword to murder and maim that night, but his defence lawyer has argued he was not criminally responsible because he suffered from a mental disorder.

The Crown contends he was well aware of his actions that night.

The jury will be sequestered on Monday after Justice Richard Grenier concludes his instructions, including the possible verdicts the jurors can consider.

After hearing closing arguments on Wednesday, the judge reminded jurors today of certain general principles in criminal law and the various criteria to evaluate the credibility and value of the testimony.

Experts did not agree on Girouard's mental state at the time of the attacks, and that will play a major role in the jury's deliberations.

Dr. Gilles Chamberland, a psychiatrist testifying on behalf of the defence, concluded that Girouard suffered from schizophrenia and was delirious and in a state of psychosis the night of the killings, unable to distinguish right from wrong.

The Crown's expert, psychiatrist Dr. Sylvain Faucher, told jurors the accused suffered from a personality disorder and was on a "narcissistic quest" to express his resentment toward society, concluding that there were no signs of delusional thinking and that he knew what he was doing.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 12, 2022.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press

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