A Quebec doctor who stabbed his two children to death, then avoided a murder conviction, is now seeking his freedom from a psychiatric hospital.
Guy Turcotte told a mental health review board Thursday he’s ready for what awaits him on the outside.
His case became famous in Quebec and drew considerable outrage.
A jury found Turcotte not criminally responsible for killing his children in 2009 because he was too distraught over the breakup of his marriage and said he didn’t remember committing the act.
His sensational trial heard he stabbed his five-year-old son Olivier and three-year-old daughter Anne-Sophie a total of 46 times.
Turcotte admitted causing the deaths but denied intent.
Turcotte now says he’s making progress slowly but surely and that he’s no longer depressed or medicated.
Barely mentioning his late children, Turcotte testified he’d like to practice cardiology again and have another relationship.
He explained to the board there was no time frame on when either would happen.
His licence to practice has lapsed and he’d have to reapply, a process he says is possible.
“Eventually — and I don’t know when — I’d like a relationship,” Turcotte said.
“I don’t think it’s a bad thing to have objectives.”
Under questioning by his lawyer, Turcotte said his first priority, however, is to continue with therapy.
Turcotte said he plans to live with family if released and that a bed is already waiting for him.
A five-member panel will eventually decide whether the former cardiologist should be freed, released with conditions, or remain detained in a psychiatric institution with a yearly review of his file.
Staff at the facility testified during a November hearing that Turcotte told them he’d like to start practicing medicine again elsewhere in Canada and wanted to have more kids.
A psychiatrist and a psychologist both told the board back then that Turcotte should be detained for at least one more year.
Turcotte says one of the specialists tasked with determining if he should be freed asked him multiple times to waive his right to be freed and stay hospitalized.
“Consenting to stay here meant to me that I was a risk to the public,” Turcotte said Thursday.
“I’m convinced that I’m not a risk to anyone.”
That includes his ex-wife Isabelle Gaston, who Turcotte says he has no interest in contacting if released.
But Gaston made it clear Thursday she’s scared and that she believes her ex-husband is a manipulator.
”I fear he’s going to come and attack me and off me,” she said outside the psychiatric institution where he is housed.
And Gaston said she finds it incredible that Turcotte is considering moving on.
”I have trouble making it through the night,” she said as she choked up.
Turcotte said he has no doubt he’d face an angry public if released, but believes he’s now better prepared to deal with life.
The board is expected to render a written decision at a later date.