Montreal

Ugo Fredette charged with 1st, 2nd-degree murder in deaths of Véronique Barbe, Yvon Lacasse

The 42-year-old Quebec man who triggered an Amber Alert last month has been charged with 2nd-degree murder for the killing of Yvon Lacasse, 71. The Crown also changed an earlier charge for the death of Véronique Barbe to first-degree murder.

Fredette, 42, sparked 24-hour Amber Alert in September before his arrest in Ontario

Ugo Fredette was originally charged with second-degree murder in the death of his partner, Véronique Barbe, but that charge was increased to first-degree murder Monday. He is also now charged with second-degree murder in the death of Yvon Lacasse, 71.

A Quebec man who triggered an Amber Alert after a six-year-old boy went missing last month has now been charged with one count each of first-degree murder and second-degree murder.

Ugo Fredette, 42, was arrested in Ontario on Sept. 15 after a search that lasted nearly 24 hours. The boy was found safe with him and was transferred into the care of Quebec's youth protection services.

Yvon Lacasse, 71, was found dead near Arundel, Que., five days after the arrest of Ugo Fredette, who has now been charged with second-degree murder in his death. (Sûreté du Québec )

Fredette was charged Monday with second-degree murder for the killing of 71-year-old Yvon Lacasse.

Lacasse's body was found near Arundel, Que., five days after Fredette's arrest. Fredette was found driving Lacasse's car when he was stopped by Ontario Provincial Police.

Outside the courtroom, the dead man's brother, Florian Lacasse, said seeing Fredette in court left him feeling only "pity." 

"He can't be at peace with himself," Lacasse said.

The Crown also changed an earlier charge of second-degree murder for the killing of Fredette's partner, Véronique Barbe, to first-degree murder.

Barbe's body was found at her home in Saint-Eustache, north of Montreal, on Sept. 14. 

The mother of four was 41. 

Prosecutor Simon Baribeau told reporters new information led the Crown to increase the charge to first-degree murder in the killing of Barbe.

"The Crown's theory is now that [Fredette] was moved to action in the context of criminal harassment," he said.

Asked why it took more than a month to charge Fredette with the killing of Lacasse, Baribeau said the police investigation produced a large amount of evidence that had to be first studied.  

With files from Elias Abboud