Quebec man found guilty of first-degree murder in slaying of ex-wife, stranger

ST-JEROME, Que. — A Quebec man was found guilty of first-degree murder Saturday in the stabbing death of his ex-wife and the fatal beating of an elderly motorist he carjacked while on the run from authorities.

Ugo Fredette was automatically sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole for 25 years after a jury returned two verdicts in the killings of Veronique Barbe, 41, and Yvon Lacasse, 71, on Sept. 14, 2017.

But as Fredette, 44, was found guilty of committing two premeditated murders, the eligibility for parole could be consecutive, extending parole inadmissibility to 50 years.

The case will return before Quebec Superior Court Justice Myriam Lachance next week.

The Crown argued Fredette killed Barbe by stabbing her 17 times in their St-Eustache, Que., home because he couldn’t accept the end of his relationship with her.

He fled the home with a six-year-old boy, travelling through a number of Quebec towns before stopping at a rest stop in Lachute, Que.

That’s where he came across 71-year-old Lacasse.

The prosecution had argued he was killed so Fredette could switch from his employer’s vehicle to one that allowed him to continue to flee authorities more discreetly.

Fredette was finally arrested on Sept. 15, 2017, in Ontario.

The accused had argued in favour of a manslaughter verdict in both cases — admitting to causing the deaths of both victims, but insisting that he’d reached his breaking point on the day both were killed and didn’t intend to kill anyone — a defence rejected by jurors.

Jennifer Lacasse, daughter of Yvon Lacasse, said it was a relief and justice was served, but it would never bring back her father.

“The scenario that Mr. Fredette created, he’s the only one that believes it,” she told reporters outside the courtroom.

The prosecutor, Steve Baribeau, also echoed that opinion, calling Fredette’s version of events “farfetched and implausible” and rejected wholly by jurors.

Twelve jurors — nine men and three women — had been sequestered since Wednesday after receiving final instructions and were into a third day of deliberations when they announced they’d reached unanimous verdicts.

Barbe’s mother, Claudette Biard, told reporters she’d been waiting for this moment for two years.

“It’s certain that for me, it won’t bring back my daughter, but at least we can have some peace and serenity, but without ever forgetting,” Biard said through a trembling voice.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Central zone down to 16 active COVID-19 cases

Alberta Health Services’ central zone is down to 16

Red Deer drum circle aims to ‘bring different cultures together’

Central Alberta Refugee Effort, Urban Aboriginal Voices Society hosted the event Friday

Students reassured pandemic’s academic impact will be taken into account

Some Grade 12 students concerned how pandemic will affect their post-secondary plans

Liberals vow wage-subsidy extension to 2021, revamp of EI system in throne speech

Canadian labour market was hammered by pandemic, when lockdowns in the spring led to a loss of 3 million jobs

Shattenkirk scores in overtime, Tampa Bay beats Dallas 5-4 in Stanley Cup final

Shattenkirk scores in overtime, Tampa Bay beats Dallas 5-4 in Stanley Cup final

Toronto FC starts strange new chapter in East Hartford with game against Columbus

Toronto FC starts strange new chapter in East Hartford with game against Columbus

Toronto Wolfpack fate deferred for four weeks as Super League continues review

Toronto Wolfpack fate deferred for four weeks as Super League continues review

Newly installed in the top 10, Shapovalov leads Canadian hopes at French Open

Newly installed in the top 10, Shapovalov leads Canadian hopes at French Open

Montreal Impact eager to return to winning ways against N.Y. Red Bulls

Montreal Impact eager to return to winning ways against N.Y. Red Bulls

Hornet sting, birdies take Swafford to lead at Punta Cana

Hornet sting, birdies take Swafford to lead at Punta Cana

Champion Adesanya gets redemption chance vs Costa at UFC 253

Champion Adesanya gets redemption chance vs Costa at UFC 253

Canadiens sign defenceman Jeff Petry to four-year contract extension

Canadiens sign defenceman Jeff Petry to four-year contract extension

Most Read