Trial of Quebec City Halloween sword attack suspect delayed for second time by COVID

·1 min read

QUEBEC — The first-degree murder trial of the man accused in the Quebec City Halloween 2020 sword attack has been delayed for a second time by COVID-19.

Quebec Superior Court Justice Richard Grenier adjourned the case today until Wednesday, when the judge said the third and most recent juror to test positive for the disease would return from isolation.

There are only 11 jurors hearing evidence in the trial because one member was dismissed after testing positive. The trial was delayed for the first time in mid-April to allow a second juror who tested positive to recover.

Carl Girouard is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the killings of Suzanne Clermont, 61, and François Duchesne, 56, in the Old Quebec neighbourhood on Oct. 31, 2020. He is also charged with five counts of attempted murder.

The judge has told jurors that Girouard admits to killing two people and injuring five others with a sword but will argue he was not criminally responsible at the time of the events because he was suffering from a mental disorder.

The Crown wrapped its case against Girouard, 26, last Thursday, and the third juror tested positive following that hearing. According to the Criminal Code, a jury panel must consist of a minimum of 10 members to render a verdict.

Grenier told jurors today it's the first time in his 50-year legal career that he's been involved in a trial that has experienced so many delays, but he said he was confident the trial would be completed.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 26, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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