A Manitoba man has been found guilty of murdering his parents and brother in 2005, in an apparent dispute over the family farm.
A jury found Denis Jerome Labossiere guilty on Wednesday night of three counts of first-degree murder in the slayings of his parents Fernand Labossiere, 78, and his wife Rita, 74, and his brother Remi, 44.
The bodies of the three Labossiere members were found in the basement of their farm house in St. Leon, Man., after a fire in November 2005. It was later determined they had been shot.
Tried alongside Labossiere was Michel Hince, who faced the same charges for his involvement in the Labossiere family deaths. However, the jury acquitted Hince on all three counts.
The verdict came after the 12 jurors spent about nine hours deliberating on Wednesday, following a trial that began Jan. 16.
Jerome Labossiere was automatically sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility of parole for 25 years.
Labossiere could be eligible for parole in May 2023 at the earliest, taking into account the time he has already served in custody.
As Hince was found not guilty on all three counts, he is being released.
'It is beyond belief that someone would slaughter their family for greed.' —Manitoba Justice Brenda Keyser
"It's beyond words … it's nauseating," Paulette Desrochers, a sister of Remi and Jerome Labossiere, told reporters outside the courthouse.
In court, Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench Justice Brenda Keyser asked Labossiere if he had anything to say, to which he replied no.
"This is a truly monstrous crime," Keyser told the court. "It is beyond belief that someone would slaughter their family for greed."
Said Sean Desrochers, Labossiere's nephew, "He's my uncle. I think it's disgusting. I don't know how he could that to your own family…. I don't ever want to see him again."
Witness said he was paid to kill
During the trial, the jury heard testimony from Jeremie Toupin, who claimed that he and Hince were paid $10,000 by Jerome Labossiere to carry out the shootings.
Toupin testified that he and Hince went to the farm early in the morning of Nov. 26, 2005, dressed in black and armed with handguns provided by Jerome Labossiere, and shot Remi Labossiere and the parents before burning the house down.
Court was told that Jerome Labossiere wanted his brother killed because he was unhappy with how Remi was running the family's $1.3-million farm.
While Remi was the main target, the parents "were a surprise," according to a family member who testified for the Crown.
Labossiere's lawyer had argued that the killings could have happened during a break and enter gone wrong.
Hince's lawyer told the court that Toupin's older brother could have been a part of the killings, but Hince was not there.
Toupin was originally charged with first-degree murder along with Labossiere and Hince.
However, Toupin struck a deal with justice officials to testify against the two men. In exchange, he pleaded guilty to three counts of the lesser charge of second-degree murder.