Former Quebec Judge Jacques Delisle appears before a Quebec court on Monday, April 13, 2012.
Credits: SIMON CLARK/JOURNAL DE QUEBEC/QMI AGENCY
Former Superior Court judge Jacques Delisle was having an affair for several months prior to the Nov. 12, 2009, shooting death of Marie-Nicole Rainville, the court heard on the first day of his first-degree murder trial.
A Crown witness also shed doubt on Delisle's claim that Rainville, 71, killed herself.
Crime scene analyst Denis Turcotte said it's very rare for women to commit suicide with a firearm.
What's more, Rainville had suffered a stroke and a hip fracture, was paralyzed on her right side and was confined to a wheelchair.
The Quebec City police expert also told the court that he found black powder in the palm of Rainville's left hand.
Had she been holding the gun the powder would likely have been on the outside of her hand, not the palm, Turcotte said.
The Crown also played the 911 call that Delisle, 77, placed not long after he says he found Rainville's body in their Quebec City condo.
"Madam, I came home," he said, breathing heavily. "My wife took her own life. What do I do?"
The operator asked: "What happened?" to which Delisle replied: "I have no idea. A short time later he added "there was a revolver beside her."
Delisle was arrested and charged with murder in June 2010 after the investigation into the apparent suicide took a turn.
The former judge has pleaded not guilty and told a hearing last year that he's innocent.
"I didn't kill Nicole," Delisle said at the time. "I've been destroyed, (but) that doesn't mean I'm guilty."
Delisle is a 50-year veteran of the law who served as a Superior Court judge and was later promoted to the Quebec Court of Appeal before his retirement in 2009.
It is the first time that a Canadian judge has been charged with murder.