(Quebec) The trial of the Old Quebec saber killer is coming to an end and Judge Richard Grenier has begun to deliver his instructions to the jury in this highly complex case where questions of mental health and criminal responsibility intertwine.
“In this case, you are in significant danger,” the Superior Court judge warned the 11-member jury, with one member expelled after catching COVID-19.
“It is extremely dangerous if a thesis is based on facts of which we are not certain, facts which in evidence are not very, very strong and on which we have built a house of cards”, warned the magistrate.
“I’m not alluding to either thesis, I don’t have an opinion to give you. »
The jury will have to decide several questions of law. The central question is as follows: Was Carl Girouard, 26, suffering from a mental disorder at the time of his actions and is he criminally responsible?
If the jury finds he is responsible, they will then have to rule on the nature of the murders. Are these first degree murders as the prosecution supports, or second degree, or even manslaughter?
Girouard is also charged with five attempted murders. He admitted during his testimony that he was looking to kill and was disappointed not to finish off the first bystander he attacked.
From the start of the trial, which lasted more than four weeks, the accused admitted to being the author of the killing of October 31, 2020. That evening, he took advantage of Halloween, all dressed in black, to attack innocent people with a katana.
The defense argues that the killer was in psychosis and suffered from schizophrenia. Instead, the prosecution believes the killer knew what he was doing that night, and had for years harbored a malevolent fantasy of revenge against a society he didn’t belong in.
The jurors will therefore have to weigh the testimony of the prosecution and defense experts, who have made opposing diagnoses. A Crown-appointed psychiatrist and neuropsychologist concluded that the killer was not psychotic, while a psychiatrist testifying for the defense argued the opposite.
“You have to assess the reliability and credibility to bring to the witnesses,” Judge Grenier argued.
The magistrate decided to complete his instructions to the jurors on Monday so as not to have to sequester them at the end of the week. “It must be sunny this weekend,” remarked the judge, magnanimously.
The jurors will therefore begin their deliberations on Monday. Remember that Carl Girouard is charged with two first degree murders and five attempted murders.