WATCH: Jacques Delisle was found guilty of killing his disabled wife in 2009 and the Crown argued he did it to avoid a costly divorce. But, Delisle has a new lawyer and a new story that wasn’t revealed at the trial six years ago. Mike Armstrong explains.
QUEBEC — Federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay confirmed he will carefully examine a request for a new trial for the only Canadian judge ever convicted of first-degree murder.
MacKay told reporters in Montreal that documents from Jacques Delisle’s legal team have started to trickle in and he’ll wait to see all the evidence before proceeding.
Earlier in Quebec City on Friday, Delisle’s relatives and Ontario-based lawyer James Lockyer formally asked MacKay to review the case.
Lockyer said he wants Jacques Delisle to have an opportunity to testify at a new trial. He pointed out Crown forensics experts at Delisle’s trial concluded that Nicole Rainville must have been murdered, while the defence argued she must have taken her own life.
“You could hardly have a more clear split between the experts.”
“It’s apparent from the verdict the jury accepted the evidence of the Crown expert,” Lockyer told a news conference in Quebec City on Friday.
“I believe they were wrong to do so.”
Lockyer is an Ontario attorney and founder of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted.
Delisle, 79, is the only Canadian judge ever convicted of first-degree murder.
He has told the CBC and Radio-Canada in interviews from behind bars that he left a loaded gun for Rainville to take her own life in November 2009 and tried to talk her out of it but that he didn’t kill her.
Delisle did not testify at his trial, which ended with a jury finding him guilty in 2012 of premeditated murder.
When police arrived at the house the day of the death, Delisle said his wife had gone to get the gun by herself.
Asked in the CBC and Radio-Canada interviews why he lied, he replied: “Because I didn’t want the family to know what really happened that morning. I didn’t want the family to know I helped Nicole commit suicide.”
Above: Federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay said he will look at a request for a new trial for Jacques Delisle. Elysia Bryan-Baines reports.
When the time came to testify at his trial, he sent his lawyer, Jacques Larochelle, to tell his family the dark secret.
They were devastated and the night before he was to take the stand, his daughter-in-law asked him to keep quiet.
He agreed, but said now he realizes it was a mistake.
Asked why he should be believed now, Delisle replied: “Because I am telling the truth today, it’s as simple as that.”
Lockyer said he met Delisle for the first time in February 2014 and his family a few months later.