Montreal

Crown wraps up case in trial of Quebec City sword attacker

The 11 jury members listened intently, expressions of shock on their faces, as forensic pathologist Caroline Tanguay described in detail the deadly wounds found on the bodies of the two people who died in a sword attack on Halloween night in 2020.

Defence takes its turn next week, attempting to prove Carl Girouard had mental disorder at time of attack

Carl Girouard covered his ears with hands when forensic pathologist Caroline Tanguay described in graphic details the wounds of the victims. (Illustration by Hbé)

Warning: The following story includes descriptions of physical violence

The 11 members of the jury at the first-degree murder trial of Carl Girouard in Quebec City listened intently, expressions of shock on their faces, as forensic pathologist Caroline Tanguay described in detail the deadly wounds found on the bodies of the two people who died in a sword attack on Halloween night in 2020.

Tanguay was the Crown's 15th and final witness on the fifth day of the trial. The trial will resume Tuesday with arguments by defence lawyers for Girouard, 26, who is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder.

The defendant admits having carried out the attacks, although his lawyer, Pierre Gagnon, will argue he cannot be held criminally responsible for his actions because he had mental disorders at the time.

Tanguay testified that François Duchesne, 56, died from injuries to his organs and major arteries. She said the sword had struck Duchesne eight times.

Suzanne Clermont, 61, died from cuts to her brain and a big laceration on her face. Tanguay said a total of 22 wounds were found on her body.

As Tanguay gave her graphic testimony, Girouard could be seen covering his ears with his hands and rocking back and forth on his chair. 

Girouard remained silent during interrogation

Quebec City police Lt.-Detective David Gionet, left, is seen in this screenshot interviewing Carl Girouard, right, on the day following Girouard's arrest. (Video submitted by the Service de Police de la Ville de Québec)

Girouard only spoke one sentence during the five and a half hours he was interrogated after his arrest, according to a Quebec City police service lieutenant-detective, David Gionet, who testified on Wednesday.

Gionet, who led the interrogation, said Girouard appeared to understand and listen to what he was telling him.

In a video segment of the interrogation presented as evidence, Girouard is seen covering his hand on his face. He asks to speak with a lawyer about halfway through the examination. 

SPVQ Lt.-Detective David Gionet testified Wednesday about his interrogation of Carl Girouard on the day after the arrest. (Radio-Canada)

The court also heard from Audrey Boulet, one of the two police officers who arrested Girouard, as well as the paramedic who brought the accused to the hospital after his arrest.

Both testified Wednesday that Girouard was calm and co-operative during their interactions with him.

Next week, Dr. Gilles Chamberland, a psychiatrist, is scheduled to provide expert testimony for the defence.

Prosecutor François Godin announced at the start of the trial that in response to the defence's evidence, he plans to call neuropsychologist and psychiatrist Sylvain Faucher to the witness box.

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