Judge at Quebec City Sword Attack Trial Begins Jury Instructions

Jurors will have to decide whether Carl Girouard can be held criminally responsible for his actions. Girouard is charged with two counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder.

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QUEBEC – A Quebec Superior Court judge has begun delivering final instructions to the 11-person jury that will determine the fate of the man accused in the fatal Halloween 2020 sword attack in Quebec City.

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Carl Girouard, 26, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of François Duchesne, 56, and Suzanne Clermont, 61. He is also charged with five counts of attempted murder in the Old Quebec historic district attack. .

He admitted to using a sword to kill and maim that night, but his defense attorney argued that he was not criminally responsible because he suffered from a mental disorder.

The Crown claims he was well aware of his actions that night.

The jury will be isolated on Monday after Judge Richard Grenier completes his instructions, including possible verdicts the jurors may consider.

After hearing the closing arguments on Wednesday, the judge reminded jurors on Thursday of some general principles of criminal law and the various criteria for assessing the credibility and value of testimony.

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Experts disagreed with Girouard’s mental state at the time of the attacks, and that will play a role in the jury’s deliberations.

Dr. Gilles Chamberland, a psychiatrist who testified on behalf of the defense, concluded that Girouard suffered from schizophrenia and was delusional and in a state of psychosis on the night of the murders, unable to distinguish right from wrong.

The Crown specialist, psychiatrist Dr. Sylvain Faucher told jurors that the accused suffered from a personality disorder and was on a “narcissistic quest” to express his resentment towards society, concluding that there were no signs of delusional thinking and that he knew what he was doing.

This article was produced with financial support from Meta Scholars and Canadian Presse News.

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