Quebec mother supports appeal of verdict in slayings

The mother of two children killed by her estranged husband says she’s had a change of heart about appealing the verdict and is now ready to testify at a new trial if asked.

MONTREAL — The mother of two children killed by her estranged husband says she’s had a change of heart about appealing the verdict and is now ready to testify at a new trial if asked.

Earlier this month, a jury found former cardiologist Guy Turcotte not criminally responsible in the stabbing deaths of his five-year-old son and three-year-old daughter.

The Crown announced Friday it would seek leave to appeal.

The verdict shocked Quebecers. At the time a shaken Isabelle Gaston, the children’s mother, stood outside the courtroom and announced she could not sit through another trial if the case went to appeal.

But Gaston issued a statement Monday saying she has changed her mind.

“I know today that I wouldn’t be able to live in peace, knowing that I didn’t do anything to denounce what I considered a (legal) error,” Gaston said.

Gaston said she supports prosecutors’ decision to seek leave to appeal the verdict.

After two weeks of reflection on the verdict, Gaston promised to participate if asked to do so.

“If there is a new trial and they ask me to return to testify, I’ll go,” she wrote.

“I will always have hope that in the end, one day, justice will be rendered for my children Olivier and Anne-Sophie.”

Turcotte admitted to having caused the deaths in 2009, but denied criminal intent. He said he only remembered flashes of what happened that evening but couldn’t explain why he killed the children.

He said he was despondent over the breakup of his marriage with Gaston and was pushed over the edge upon learning that she had been having an affair with her personal trainer.

Turcotte stabbed his son Olivier and daughter Anne-Sophie a total of 46 times in their beds.