Loading articles...

Jury in case of man on trial in ailing wife's slaying asks to hear his testimony

Michel Cadotte, accused of murder in the 2017 death of his ailing wife in what has been described as a mercy killing, leaves a the courtroom in Montreal on Wednesday, February 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

MONTREAL — The jury deciding the fate of a Montreal man on trial for the killing of his ailing wife wants to hear his testimony again.

Late Friday, jurors sent an envelope making the request to Quebec Superior Court Justice Helene Di Salvo, asking to relisten to Michel Cadotte’s testimony.

Cadotte, 57, is charged with second-degree murder in the slaying of Jocelyne Lizotte in February 2017.

Lizotte, 60, was suffocated in her long-term care bed at a Montreal facility where she was receiving treatment for the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease, which had left her incapable of recognizing her family or taking care of herself.

Cadotte had been told in 2016 that his wife of 19 years did not qualify for a medically assisted death because she couldn’t consent and was not considered to be at the end of her life.

Cadotte’s lawyers have argued their client was in a depressed state and was unable to cope after watching Lizotte suffer for nine years. The Crown has countered that Cadotte understood the impact of his actions and intended to kill Lizotte when he held a pillow over her face.

The jurors have two possible verdicts open to them: They must decide whether the crime carried the intent requisite for second-degree murder or if it was manslaughter.

The request to re-listen to Cadotte came after a second full day of deliberations that went an hour longer than usual.

Arrangements were made to have the jurors listen to the testimony beginning Saturday. During the trial, Cadotte’s testimony and cross-examination by the Crown lasted about two days.

“They are a conscientious jury who are doing their job, so we have a lot of faith in them,” Elfriede Duclervil, Cadotte’s lawyer, told reporters, with fellow defence attorney Nicolas Welt adding Cadotte’s testimony is central to his state of mind.

“It’s exactly what we asked them to do, and it’s what they’re doing,” Duclervil added.  

The eight-man, four-woman jury was sequestered Wednesday after receiving lengthy instructions from Di Salvo.

The jury will remain sequestered until they reach a unanimous verdict.

Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press