Randy Tshilumba guilty of 1st-degree murder in stabbing death of Clémence Beaulieu-Patry
'I know the sun is shining bright today, and I know Clémence was there behind us,' says Nathalie Beaulieu
A jury has found Randy Tshilumba guilty of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Clémence Beaulieu-Patry.
Tshilumba, 21, admitted to killing the 20-year-old woman at the Maxi store where she worked in April 2016.
He testified that he acted in self-defence because he believed Beaulieu-Patry and four of her friends had been plotting to kill him for more than a year before the stabbing.
The victim's parents, Nathalie Beaulieu and Luc Patry, breathed a sigh of relief when the verdict was read out in the Montreal courtroom.
"There's a price to pay for killing a young woman, our lovely daughter," said an emotional Beaulieu outside the courtroom.
Defence argued client mentally ill
In closing arguments, Tshilumba's defence lawyer told a jury of seven men and five women they should find his client not criminally responsible because of mental illness.
Philippe Larochelle urged jury members not to look at the stabbing in isolation, but along with all of Tshilumba's prior actions which pointed to mental illness.
Beaulieu admitted testimony regarding Tshilumba's mental state made her nervous.
She wondered whether he would be found not criminally responsible.
"This verdict proves you need stronger proof for a not criminally responsible [finding] due to mental health," Beaulieu said.
"He wanted to change because he knew his actions was morally wrong and didn't want to be arrested," prosecutor Catherine Perreault told the jury during closing arguments.
At times, Beaulieu said she made eye contact with one of the jurors.
She said sometimes he would smile at the family as he entered the room.
Beaulieu made eye contact with him before the verdict was read.
"I had a feeling it would work out for us," she said.
The case was heard before Quebec Superior Court Justice Hélène Di Salvo.
The guilty verdict carries an automatic life sentence without the chance to apply for parole for 25 years.
Beaulieu-Patry's family parents will read victim impact statements to the court on Wednesday.
They say they plan to speak more about their daughter and the impact of her death, rather than address Tshilumba directly.