Dr Guy Turcotte.
Credits: L'Écho du Nord/File Photo.
MONTREAL -- The Crown has asked the Quebec Court of Appeal to order a new trial for a former doctor found not-criminally responsible for murdering his two young children.
The Crown says the 11-member jury should never have had the option to rule that Guy Turcotte was mentally disturbed when he took a knife to his son and daughter north of Montreal in 2009.
The Crown points out that the former cardiologist admitted to drinking glass cleaner before he fatally stabbed five-year-old Olivier and three-year-old Anne-Sophie in a rented home in Piedmont, Que.
The Crown cites a Supreme Court of Canada ruling that says a defendant can't be exonerated for mental reasons if they were intoxicated at the time of a crime.
Turcotte has been held in a Montreal mental hospital ever since the jury ruled he didn't deserve jail time. He's already eligible for escorted leave.
He admitted he killed his children amid a crumbling marriage to estranged wife and fellow doctor Isabelle Gaston. But he says he blacked out and doesn't remember the details.
Turcotte told his murder trial that he had grown despondent after he found out Gaston was having an affair with a mutual friend.
Jurors accepted the defence's argument that Turcotte suffered from depression, anxiety and suicidal tendencies.
They acquitted him of two counts of first-degree murder, provoking a storm of outrage across Canada.
Some people called for the death penalty, and some law-enforcement officials said the verdict sent the wrong message to fathers going through messy divorces.
Gaston was surprised to hear about the possibility of a new trial and told QMI Agency that she had mixed feelings.
"A (guilty) verdict won't make my life better," she said Wednesday. "But when you see (murder cases), look at what people say at the end when the verdict comes down; 'Finally, now the mourning can begin.'"
There was no word on when the appeals court would rule on the Crown motion for a new trial.