Guy Turcotte's conditional release to be decided 'as soon as possible' by court
Quebec man free on bail awaiting 2nd trial for the killing of his 2 children
The Quebec Court of Appeal says it will make a decision "as soon as possible" on whether Guy Turcotte should be allowed to remain free on bail.
The former Quebec cardiologist has been free while awaiting his second trial for the killing of his children, Olivier, 5, and Anne-Sophie, 3, in 2009. He was found not criminally responsible by reason of mental illness during his first trial in 2011.
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On Monday the Crown argued its case against Turcotte's conditional release, telling the court that while Turcotte does not seem to be a flight risk or at risk of reoffending, letting him go free would undermine the public's confidence in the justice system.
The defence argued that the court must use the facts of the case — not emotion — to reach a decision about Turcotte's conditional release.
Isabelle Gaston, the victims' mother, attended the hearing.
"I don’t have to be here. I chose to be here. I came because I want to hear for myself … what will be the arguments presented," she said, adding that she has lost faith in the justice system.
"I don’t have any confidence. For now, I feel that they left me all by myself."
Bail granted last September
The Crown was stunned when a judge granted Turcotte a conditional release in September. Turcotte has been living at his uncle's home on the South Shore.
"Of course this is not the conclusion that the Crown expected," said prosecutor René Verret at the time. He said he feared the judgment could undermine the public’s faith in the justice system.
Patrick Gaston, the uncle of Turcotte's children with Isabelle Gaston, expressed his anger when Turcotte was granted conditional release.
“Guy Turcotte will always be a sadistic manipulator,” Gaston said in September.
Rearrested in 2013
Turcotte admitted to killing his children during his trial in 2011, but a jury found him not criminally responsible.
Turcotte then spent 18 months at a Montreal psychiatric hospital, the Pinel Institute.
He was released from the institute in December 2012, but was rearrested in fall 2013 after the Crown appealed the jury decision and won a new trial.
Now the Crown is appealing Judge André Vincent’s decision to release Turcotte conditionally. The conditions imposed included a curfew and living with his uncle.
The Crown is asking for Turcotte to be remanded into custody until the start of his new trial in 2015.
This type of appeal is usually heard by a panel of three judges.