Day 3 of deliberations ends without a verdict

By JOËLLE POULIOT, The Gazette, July 2

ST. JÉRÔME – The jury in the Guy Turcotte murder trial has concluded its third day of deliberations. On Saturday afternoon, the jury asked Judge Marc David for testimony recordings.

Turcotte, a former cardiologist at Hotel-Dieu Hospital in St. Jerome, faces two charges of first-degree murder for the murders of his children, Olivier, 5, and Anne-Sophie, 3, in a heartbreaking trial that began in April and has been attended daily by his estranged wife, Isabelle Gaston, also a physician.

The request, submitted to the judge at 2:45 p.m., was for a copy of the recordings of testimony by Guy Turcotte and Jacques Talbot, the psychiatrist who saw Turcotte at the Philippe Pinel Institute after his arrest for first-degree murder.

Turcotte’s testimony lasted eight days in the 10-week trial, Talbot’s lasted one day.

Judge David instructed the jury about the procedure they should follow while watching the recordings.

“When you listen to these testimonies again, you must do it fairly. If you watch an excerpt in particular, you must watch everything else that is likely to explain, to mitigate or to put that excerpt into context,” David said.

“Good luck in the continuation of your deliberations.”

The recordings handed to the jury do not include parts from the trial that occurred while the jury was out of the courtroom.

Judge David gave four verdict options in his instructions to the jury before the deliberations started Thursday morning.

If the jury decides the crime was premeditated with a motive of revenge, Turcotte will be found guilty of first-degree murder. If it determines Turcotte meant to kill his children, but there are doubts about whether the act was premeditated, he could be convicted of second-degree murder.

Turcotte could also be found guilty of involuntary homicide, or manslaughter, if there is reasonable doubt that mental instability or the poisonous windshield fluid he drank affected his intention on the night of the murders.

The fourth verdict possibility is that the jury declare him not criminally responsible for death of his children, which is the position Turcotte’s lawyers argued during the trial.

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