Turcotte trial suspended after defence witness unavailable to testify

The judge presiding over Guy Turcotte's first-degree murder trial reluctantly suspended proceedings after the defence's final witness was unable to testify on Monday.

SAINT-JEROME, Que. — The judge presiding over Guy Turcotte’s first-degree murder trial reluctantly suspended proceedings after the defence’s final witness was unable to testify on Monday.

A visibly irritated Quebec Superior Court Justice Andre Vincent accepted a request by the defence to put the case off until Tuesday.

“I don’t want it to become a habit of me having to apologize to you,” Vincent told the 11-member jury before explaining proceedings would be suspended.

The ex-doctor has pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder in the Feb. 2009 slayings of his children.

He has admitted to causing the deaths of son Olivier, 5, and daughter Anne-Sophie, 3.

But Turcotte’s lawyers are arguing the 43-year-old former cardiologist should be found not criminally responsible by way of mental disorder.

After the defence’s final witness testifies, the Crown is expected to call rebuttal witnesses as Turcotte’s trial begins to wind down.

The defence initially asked the trial be suspended until Wednesday but Vincent denied an extended break after adjourning the case last Thursday at the defence’s request.

Jurors have been hearing evidence since mid-September.

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