The partner of Mascouche mother Jaël Cantin was charged with second-degree murder at the Joliette courthouse on Friday in connection with her death.
Benoît Cardinal, 33, was arrested by the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) late Thursday night after police say Cantin, who is also 33, was killed that morning.
When he arrived at the courthouse, Cardinal hid his face and limped his way into the building, about 70 kilometres north of Montreal. While he was in a wheelchair for his appearance, he stood when the judge formally charged him.
Cardinal will remain detained, and he is also prohibited from having communications with nine potential witnesses.
“He could request bail but he has to do it with his lawyers,” said Crown prosecutor Valérie Michaud. “So, we will have to see if he asks to be released.”
Mascouche police were called to a home on des Anglais Road early Thursday morning, where they found Cantin and Cardinal with injuries. Their six children — who cannot be named — were also inside the home.
Quebec provincial police say the pair was taken to hospital, where Cantin was pronounced dead. Cardinal’s injuries were not life-threatening, police say.
The children who were inside the home were escorted out by the SQ. They are in the care of family and they are being offered psychological help.
The SQ has remained tight-lipped about details of the investigation, which was transferred to its major crimes division.
Until last week, Cardinal had been an employee at a youth protection centre in Laval. In a statement, the centre told Global News that staff was alerted to alleged inappropriate behaviour by Cardinal in December.
As a result, Cardinal was suspended and he resigned last Friday.
His next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 26.
— With files from Global News’ Amanda Jelowicki and the Canadian Press