SAINT-JÉROME -- Closing arguments began Thursday in the trial of Ugo Fredette, accused of two premeditated murders, including that of his wife Véronique Barbe.

His lawyer, Louis-Alexandre Martin, was first to address the members of the jury at the courthouse in Saint-Jérome.

He argued that his client should be found guilty of manslaughter, not murder.

Martin argued that the Crown has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the killings were premeditated. He painted Fredette as a man who was pushed to his breaking point by his volatile relationship with Barbe.

He drew attention to testimony from the couple's counsellor, who called the relationship immature and impulsive.

Martin told the jury that Barbe almost pushed Fredette down the stairs during an argument Sept. 14, 2017 before Barbe was killed was assault.

"You need to keep that in mind," Martin told the jury.

Martin recounted Fredette's story that Barbe came at him with a knife and that his client boiled over.

She was impulsive, and so was he, the lawyer argued.

Martin said it's not illogical to think that any normal person would reach their breaking point in such a volatile situation.

The Crown's picture is much different, including calling Fredette a man who has selective amnesia.

Steve Baribeau will present the Crown's closing arguments Friday. 

According to Baribeau, Ugo Fredette did not accept Barbe's intention to separate, and stabbed her 17 times, killing her on Sept. 14, 2017. He then fled, dragging with him a six-year-old child.

As for Yvon Lacasse, 71, whom he met at a Lachute rest stop, the Crown will argue that the accused killed him to steal his vehicle and pursue his escape more discreetly than in his own car.

The trial began at the end of September.

With reporting from The Canadian Press.