New Brunswick

Fellow inmate charged in cult leader's death

A fellow inmate at the Dorchester, N.B., penitentiary has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of killer and cult leader Roch Thériault.

Quebec-born Roch Thériault, 63, found near his N.B. prison cell after altercation

An inmate at the Dorchester, N.B., penitentiary has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of imprisoned killer and cult leader Roch Thériault.

Matthew Gerrard MacDonald, 60, of Port au Port, N.L., was charged on Friday, according to RCMP.

The charge comes after an investigation by RCMP and Correctional Service Canada.

MacDonald is scheduled to appear in Moncton provincial court on Friday to enter a plea.

The Quebec-born Thériault, 63, was found dead near his cell at the Dorchester Institution on Feb. 26.

He died after suffering injuries in an altercation with another inmate.

In February, RCMP said a 59-year-old inmate at Dorchester had been arrested in connection with Thériault's death.

The police called the cult leader's death a homicide.

Thériault led a bizarre cult from 1977 to 1989, first in Ste-Marie de Beauce, Que., then in Gaspé, Que., and then Burnt River, Ont., where he lived with eight women, his 26 children and several followers.

He killed his wife and cult member Solange Boislard by disembowelling her, and chopped off the right arm of another commune wife, Gabrielle Lavallee, with a chainsaw.

In 1993, Thériault was sentenced to life in prison and at Dorchester, a medium-security facility southeast of Moncton that houses about 440 inmates.

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