SAINT-JEROME, Que. — About two weeks after the stabbing deaths of his young children, Guy Turcotte described the events of that night to a man who’d been helping him communicate better.
Luc Tanguay told Turcotte’s murder trial Thursday he accepted a request from the accused to visit him at a Montreal psychiatric hospital where he was detained following his arrest in the February 2009 slayings of Olivier, 5, and Anne-Sophie, 3.
Turcotte has pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder but has admitted to causing the children’s deaths.
Tanguay testified that Turcotte, now 43, said he put the children to bed on the evening of Feb. 20, 2009. He then conducted Internet searches for suicide as he was upset after reading email exchanges between Isabelle Gaston, who at the time was his estranged wife, and Martin Huot, her new lover. He then consumed windshield washer fluid.
“He said he became aware he was going to die and he decided he take his children with him,” Tanguay said.
He then stabbed Olivier and Anne-Sophie to death, Tanguay told the jury.
“He said he heard his son dying,” said the witness, who had to interrupt his testimony at times after being overcome by emotion.
Tanguay had also met with Turcotte three days before the slayings and testified the cardiologist exhibited signs of turning the corner and wanting to rebuild his life.
Tanguay, a communications consultant, was helping Turcotte work through his interpersonal communication skills. Turcotte talked of buying a new house and had discussed going to mediation with Gaston.
“He was in a rebuilding phase,” Tanguay said.
Turcotte also wanted to protect Gaston and the children financially and said he had no intention of causing them any trouble in that respect, the witness added.
“He was a man who wanted to rebuild his life,” said Tanguay, who noted that Turcotte was sad but did not appear angry.
Tanguay was the Crown’s 25th witness. The prosecution said at the outset of the trial it intended to call 30 witnesses.
The defence hasn’t outlined its intentions or specified if Turcotte will take the stand.
Quebec Superior Court Justice Andre Vincent has set aside three months for the trial.