Jurors continue to deliberate in case of Montreal man charged with killing ailing wife

Michel Cadotte, accused of murder in the 2017 death of his ailing wife in what has been described as a mercy killing, heads to the courtroom to hear final arguments Tuesday, February 19, 2019 in Montreal. Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

Jurors have completed a first full day of deliberations at the murder trial of Michel Cadotte without reaching a verdict.

Cadotte, 57, is standing trial on a charge of second-degree murder in the death of his wife Jocelyne Lizotte, stricken by advanced Alzheimer’s disease.

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Cadotte’s lawyers have argued their client was in a depressed state and was unable to cope after watching Lizotte suffer for nine years. The Crown has countered that Cadotte understood the impact of his actions and intended to kill Lizotte when he held a pillow over her face.

The jurors have two possible verdicts open to them: They must decide whether the crime carried the intent requisite for second-degree murder or if it was manslaughter.

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Cadotte testified during the trial that he suffocated Lizotte on Feb. 20, 2017. The jury will have to determine whether Cadotte intended to kill his wife and consider his state of mind at the time of the killing.

Lizotte, 60, was living at the Emilie-Gamelin long-term care facility, unable to care for herself after being stricken by Alzheimer’s nine years earlier. Cadotte had been told in 2016 that his wife of 19 years did not qualify for a medically assisted death because she couldn’t consent and was not considered to be at the end of her life.

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The eight-man, four-woman jury was sequestered at the end of the day Wednesday. They emerged briefly about an hour into their deliberations Thursday to ask about the rules around re-listening to testimony.

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Otherwise, they remained behind closed doors and did not emerge again. They will remain sequestered until they reach a unanimous verdict.

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