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Quebec man accused of smothering ailing wife with pillow says he knew it would kill her

Michel Cadotte, accused of murder in the 2017 death of his ailing wife in what has been described as a mercy killing, said he realized his actions would ``cause the death'' of his wife.
Michel Cadotte, accused of murder in the 2017 death of his ailing wife in what has been described as a mercy killing, said he realized his actions would ``cause the death'' of his wife. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Michel Cadotte, on trial for second-degree murder in the death of his ailing wife, said Tuesday he fully understood what he was doing when he smothered her with a pillow.

Under cross-examination by Crown prosecutor Genevieve Langlois, Cadotte, 57, said he knew what he was doing before, during and after the death of his wife, Jocelyne Lizotte.

READ MORE: Montreal man on trial for murder of ailing wife testifies about her death

The defence stated during its opening statement to the jury last week that Cadotte was so depressed and sleep deprived at the time that “he didn’t have the freedom of choice” and that his state of mind does not support a conviction for murder.

Cadotte testified Tuesday that he realized his actions would “cause the death” of Lizotte, 60, and that doing so was a crime.

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He admitted he understood the consequences of such a crime and added that he asked staff at the long-term care centre where Lizotte died to call 911, knowing it would lead to his arrest. He then waited for police in her room.

Cadotte said Tuesday that on the day of the killing he was frustrated to see his wife was not receiving adequate care, which he said triggered the desire to end her life.

Lizotte was found dead in her bed in a Montreal care centre on Feb. 20, 2017. Cadotte testified Monday that when he arrived to visit her that day, he was saddened and angry to find her hunched over in a geriatric chair with no head support. He said he cried for much of the visit as he tried to feed her.

READ MORE: Quebec man accused of killing ailing wife takes stand in his defence

When she fell asleep, he said he moved her to her bed. It was as he was trying with difficulty to place a pillow under her head that he placed it over her face and suffocated her, he said. He maintained he could not stand to see her suffering.

The defence plans to call a psychiatrist and a psychologist to testify Wednesday about Cadotte’s mental state at the time of the alleged crime.

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