Guy Turcotte pleads for judge to grant conditional release

Guy Turcotte, the ex-cardiologist on trial a second time for killing his two children, took the stand this morning in St-Jérôme to ask for his conditional release pending trial.

Psychiatrist says profound depression and psychotic symptoms can be managed with medication

Guy Turcotte was found not criminally responsible because of mental disorder in 2011 for the murders of his two young children. (Radio-Canada)

Guy Turcotte, the ex-cardiologist who faces a new trial on charges he killed his two children, took the stand this morning in St-Jérôme to ask for his conditional release pending trial.

It was the second day of testimony at a hearing considering his request.

Turcotte explained to the judge that he wanted to be released until the start of his second murder trial so that he can take care of his family and perform volunteer work at a South Shore food bank.

These are the activities he pursued after being released from Pinel Institute in December 2012, until his re-arrest in November 2013.

His lawyers took the opportunity to remind the judge that no incidents occurred during that period.

Turcotte depressed

On Thursday he told the court that he would would be more useful performing those functions than being locked up in the medical wing of the Rivière-des-Prairies detention centre.

He also told the court that he was the victim of harassment and threats following his return behind bars, and that he had become depressed while in custody.

A psychiatrist explained that Turcotte recently suffered a profound depression accompanied by psychotic symptoms.

The expert told the court that despite that, Turcotte’s mental state had improved during the summer and that he would continue to take medication upon release.

The Crown argued that freeing Turcotte pending trial would cause the public to lose trust in the judicial system.

The judge is expected to deliver a ruling on Sept. 12 .

Turcotte admitted to killing his two children at his home in Piedmont, Que., in 2009 during his first murder trial.

However, his defence argued that Turcotte killed them at a time when he was severely distraught by his separation from wife Isabelle Gaston.

Turcotte in 2011 was found not criminally responsible because of a mental health disorder.

That verdict was overturned in 2013 after the Crown appealed and a new trial was ordered in March.