Guy Turcotte will ask Supreme Court to block re-trial
Published Friday, January 10, 2014 10:22AM EST
Last Updated Friday, January 10, 2014 6:40PM EST
Guy Turcotte, the cardiologist who was found not criminally responsible for killing his two children, will be appealing his case to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Defence lawyer Pierre Poupart announced the legal appeal on Friday morning and said that the paperwork would be filed by Saturday.
Last year Quebec's Court of Appeal ruled that Turcotte should stand trial again for the murder of his two children, saying that the not-criminally-responsible verdict rendered in 2011 was the result of an error in law.
Turcotte was promptly re-arrested and charged again with two counts of murder. Since his arrest he has been held at the Pinel Institute to undergo psychiatric care.
Quebec Superior court was going to set a date on Friday for the start of the retrial, but upon learning of the appeal to the Supreme Court the judge refused to set a date for a new trial.
The prosecution had argued that the court should set a trial date because Quebecers might lose faith in Canada's justice system if a prompt trial is not held. The judge disagreed.
"We will have to wait," said Crown prosecutor Jean-Pascal Boucher. "In the meantime the file will be postponed to the next term in April of 2014. So we'll see what will happen in the Supreme Court."
Boucher said that the prosecution is ready to wait.
“The delay in this file will be a challenge and we'll have to be ready and to be prepared to make the evidence in court so we will deal with it and we'll be able to present the evidence in court,” said Boucher.
Legal observers note that the Supreme Court is unlikely to block the new trial, as such initiatives rarely succeed.
If the Supreme Court declines to hear the case, a trial would be set for 2015, six years after Turcotte's two children were killed.
In the original court case, Turcotte confessed to drinking methanol in a suicide attempt, then killing Olivier and Anne-Sophie but argued he was not mentally competent at the time.
Turcotte was not present at the proceedings Friday.
Turcotte spent 18 months in psychiatric care before being released in December 2011. Court proceedings revealed that he is currently back at the Pinel Institute, although no explanation was given for his presence there.
A defence lawyer announces he will file an appeal with the Supreme Court to make Guy Turcotte's original verdict stand (Jan. 10, 2013. Delphine Bergeron/CTV Montreal)