Former Quebec doctor seeks bail while awaiting new 2015 trial for killing kids
Thursday, Sep 04, 2014 04:00 pm
SAINT-JEROME, Que. - A judge will rule next Friday whether a former Quebec doctor charged in the stabbing deaths of his two young children in 2009 should get bail while awaiting trial.
Lawyers for Guy Turcotte wrapped up their case Thursday with the accused testifying on his own behalf.
Turcotte told the court he's asking for bail because it is his right and that he could be of more use to society as an informal caregiver to some of his relatives instead of "wasting my time in prison."
The Crown argued that granting bail would undermine the public's confidence in the justice system.
Turcotte faces two counts of first-degree murder in the slayings of his children Olivier, 5, and Anne-Sophie, 3, at a rented family home north of Montreal in early 2009.
A jury found Turcotte not criminally responsible in 2011 and he was released from a psychiatric institution in December 2012.
The Quebec Court of Appeal overturned the verdict last November, citing errors by the trial judge in his instructions to the jury.
The higher court ordered a new trial, leading to Turcotte's re-arrest in late 2013.
The former cardiologist admitted he suffered from depression following his arrest, but testified that his state has improved with the help of medication and his doctors.
Turcotte, 42, said he wants to work as a caregiver to his aunt and uncle while awaiting his trial in September 2015.
The accused told Justice Andre Vincent that the treatment has left him feeling as good as ever.
On Wednesday, a psychiatrist testifying for the defence explained that Turcotte had suffered from a deep depression including psychotic symptoms but has improved during the summer and would not represent a danger to society if released on bail.
Turcotte's brother offered to put up $100,000 to secure his release and testified the accused had continued to be surrounded by long-standing friends since his release.
Slimmed, shackled and dressed almost entirely in black, the ex-cardiologist was the final person to take the stand at his bail hearing.
His testimony and the subsequent questioning lasted about 45 minutes.
Turcotte noted there were no incidents during the time he was free, except for one encounter with a woman who yelled at him at a shopping centre.