Man accused in Quebec City sword attack appears in court

·1 min read
Man accused in Quebec City sword attack appears in court
Man accused in Quebec City sword attack appears in court

A 24-year-old man accused of randomly attacking people with a sword in Quebec City, leaving two dead, will remain detained until his bail hearing on Nov. 20.

Carl Girouard appeared briefly via videoconference in a Quebec City courtroom on Thursday morning.

Girouard, who has long dark hair and a moustache, could be seen standing behind a window of what appears to be a detention cell.

He said few words, answering the judge's questions with a "yes," to confirm he understood the court proceedings.

Girouard faces two charges of first-degree-murder and five counts of attempted murder in connection with the attacks on Halloween night in Old Quebec.

Suzanne Clermont and François Duchesne died in the attacks. Five others were taken to hospital that night with non-life threatening injuries.

The appearance before Quebec court Judge René de la Sablonnière lasted less than five minutes. Seating in the courtroom was limited because of COVID-19 restrictions and several people had to leave the courtroom.

No family members appeared to be present.

Prosecutor François Godin asked de la Sablonnière to withdraw a publication ban on the names of four out of the five people who were injured in the attacks.

The judge granted the request, but CBC/Radio-Canada is not publishing their names for the moment.

Godin briefly spoke to reporters after the hearing and said there is a presumption within the criminal act that people are sound of mind.

He said if Girouard intends to base his defence on a mental disorder, he will be able to do so at a later date.

"Right now it is much too soon to broach this," he said.