Richard Bain asked brother for directions to Metropolis before alleged murder, jury hears

Hours before the fatal election-night shooting, Richard Bain visited his brother's wife at the hospital and asked for directions to the Metropolis concert hall, the court learned on Thursday.

Court hears accused visited sister-in-law in hospital, had lunch with brother on day of shooting

In a police interview Robert Bain, the brother of Richard Brain, chokes back tears 0:40

Hours before a man was gunned down outside a 2012 election night celebration in Montreal, Richard Bain visited his brother's wife at the hospital and asked for directions to the venue, the court learned on the final day of the Crown's case.

"He asked me where the Metropolis was, and I didn't know," Bain's brother, Robert, said in a police interview that was taped and shown in court on Thursday.

Richard Bain is accused of first-degree murder in the shooting death of lighting technician Denis Blanchette, who was standing outside the Metropolis concert hall while the Parti Québécois celebrated its election win inside on Sept. 4, 2012.

The jury in the murder trial in Montreal watched the video testimony from Robert Bain, recorded over a year after the fatal shooting.

In the video, he tells a provincial police officer that on the day of the attack, his wife was at the Royal Victoria Hospital, and his brother stopped by in the afternoon to visit and have lunch. 

He says his brother asked how to get to the Metropolis before leaving, but he didn't know.

The officer asks Robert Bain various questions about his relationship with his brother, their history, and how he would describe his general character.

He answers, "normal, like everybody else. He has his opinions and he'd express them strongly sometimes, like me," but he adds, "he'd never get violent." 

On this still image from surveillance video, Richard Bain (left) stands next to his brother, Robert (right), inside the front entrance of the former Royal Victoria Hospital. (Royal Victoria Hospital security footage)

'I had no idea it was him'

On election night, Robert Bain says, he saw the TV footage of a man in a bathrobe being led away by police, but he never thought it was his own brother.

"I had no idea it was him at all. None." 

He says he ended up finding out from friends a couple of days later. 

Up until almost the end of the interview, the conversation remains casual and easy, but Robert Bain chokes back a few tears when the officer asks him if he has anything else to add.

"I'm just, surprised at what he did. I just, never expected it," he says.

"It still upsets me. I don't know."

Footage shows a man being led away by police after the Sept. 4, 2012 shooting outside Montreal's Metropolis nightclub. 7:37

A 'vision' from 'God of Abraham'

Earlier on Thursday, the court heard a recording of Richard Bain himself, speaking to English Montreal radio station CJAD about a "vision" he had for Montreal.

The jury heard that Bain called CJAD's newsroom from jail, several days after the shooting, and told the journalist who answered, Trudie Mason, that he had a vision from "the God of Abraham" for Montreal to separate and become its own province, where people could live in peace and harmony.

Reporter Trudie Mason testified at Bain's trial that she recorded this interview with the defendant when he phoned from jail on Sept. 19, 2012. 37:10

'All my friends are francophone'

In the recording played in court on Thursday, Bain identifies himself and tells Mason that he's calling from the Rivière-des-Prairies detention centre.

One day the person that will judge me will be my God, the God of Abraham and Lord Jesus Christ.- Richard Bain , in CJAD recording

Mason asks Bain if he has a message for the French-speaking community, and Bain agrees to speak in French. 

"All my friends are francophone," he's heard saying.

"It's just that there are a few who do not respect us, and they are definitely against some of our rights."

He outlines his plan for Montreal, using hockey metaphors to explain himself.

"If they want to separate from Canada, we will play the same game, Canadiens versus Maple Leafs," he says in French. 

"The Canadiens go up against Toronto all the time. The island of Montreal can go up against the militant separatists."

'Are you a crazy person, Mr. Bain?'

During their conversation, Mason tries to get Bain to open up about what happened at the Metropolis that night.

"There are some people who say when you took weapons to the Metropolis and opened fire and set a fire, that was an act of a crazy person. Are you a crazy person, Mr. Bain?" she asks.

"Time will tell, eh?" he answers. "Let's let the justice system do its job."

Bain says he will be judged by God

The conversation lasts 37 minutes, with a few interruptions when Bain goes back to his cell to retrieve documents. 

The conversation ends when Mason tells Bain that she's made contact with his then lawyer, who is asking him to stop speaking to media. 

Bain agrees to respect his counsel's advice. 

Before he hangs up, Bain adds: "One day the person that will judge me will be my God, the god of Abraham and Lord Jesus Christ."

Then he says to Mason "God bless you."

Mason responds: "Please call us back any time."

​The Crown rested its case on Thursday. The trial will be suspended until July 18, when the defence will call its first witness.

About the Author

Jaela Bernstien is a reporter based in Montreal. She's covered a wide range of news topics, ranging from criminal trials to ice age caves, and everything in between.