Montreal

Montreal man pleads guilty to reduced manslaughter charges after 2016 shooting spree that killed 2

The Crown and defence have jointly recommended a 19-year sentence for Frédérick Gingras, who suffers from schizophrenia and substance abuse issues. An administrative tribunal will decide if he will serve his time in prison or in a forensic psychiatric institution.

Administrative tribunal to decide if Frédérick Gingras, who is mentally ill, goes to prison or Pinel

Frederick Gingras has pleaded guilty of manslaughter in the deaths of James Jardin and Chantal Cyr in 2016. (Montreal police)

The Crown and defence have jointly recommended a 19-year sentence for Frédérick Gingras, who killed a friend with that man's own shotgun in a Pointe-aux-Trembles apartment in 2016 before going on a rampage that left an innocent woman dead and another man injured.

Gingras, 23, pleaded guilty Thursday to reduced charges, including two counts of manslaughter and one count of assault.

He was originally charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of James Jardin and Chantal Cyr, a 49-year-old woman who had been waiting in her car outside a gas station to pick up her daughter at the end of her shift at Tim Horton's. 

Three counts of attempted murder were also dropped.

Sentencing arguments are to take place at the Montreal courthouse on April 4.

If Superior Court Justice France Charbonneau agrees to the joint sentencing submission, Gingras would serve 15 years, since the 28 months he has already been in detenction count as time and a half.

'Severe' schizophrenia

It will be up to an administrative tribunal, the Review Board for mental disorder, to decide if Gingras should serve out his sentence in a federal penitentiary or at the forensic psychiatry unit of the Pinel Institute, where he is now being held.

Morasse said he is hopeful his client will be allowed to serve out at least part, if not all, of his sentence at Pinel, where he can be properly treated for what Morasse described as "severe" schizophrenia.

The scene where Chantal Cyr was found shot in the upper body. She later died in hospital. (Charles Contant/CBC)

The joint statement of facts presented in court Thursday detail Gingras's lifelong struggle with mental illness, dating back to childhood, as well as his long history of substance abuse problems.

He was first prescribed anti-psychotics at the age of 13, and has had many hospitalizations and run-ins with the justice system in the decade since.

On the night of his shooting spree, Dec. 4, 2016, Gingras, who had no fixed address, ended up at a friend's apartment after his aunt and his grandmother refused to take him in.

After shooting Jardin, he took aim at another man in the apartment with a by-then empty shotgun, then took off on foot with the firearm and an ammunition belt, ending up at a nearby gas station in Pointe-aux-Trembles.

That is where he shot Cyr, leaving her for dead.  He then took off in her car, crashing the vehicle into a lamppost a few blocks away.

He abandoned the car, careening through backyards near the bank of the St. Lawrence River, breaking into one house occupied by a woman and her two children, and then, when a man came to the door at another house, shooting him in the foot before taking off in that man's SUV.

After a high-speed chase, which ended with his arrest by police in the parking lot of the Dix-30 shopping mall in Brossard, on Montreal's South Shore, Gingras's mother took her case to the media, denouncing the lack of resources for people with mental illness and their families. 

With files from Radio-Canada