Crown opts for direct indictment for Quebec City Halloween sword attack suspect

A makeshift memorial is seen on des Remparts Street, where Suzanne Claremont,61, was fatally stabbed on Saturday evening. The Quebec government is now focusing on mental health in wake of the deadly attack. Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. Jean-Vincent Verville/Global News

Prosecutors filed a direct indictment Friday against the man accused in a Quebec City Halloween night stabbing attack that killed two people.

It means the case against 25-year-old Carl Girouard will skip the preliminary hearing stage and go straight to trial. He is scheduled to return to court on Sept. 7.

Girouard, of Ste-Thérèse, Que., is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder after a man dressed in a medieval costume and wielding a Japanese-style sword went on a rampage last Oct. 31 in Quebec City’s historic district.

READ MORE: Vigil held for Quebec City victim of Halloween sword attack

Two residents, 56-year-old François Duchesne and 61-year-old Suzanne Clermont, were killed, and five others were seriously injured.

The accused made a brief court appearance by video Friday before Quebec court Judge Jean Asselin from the detention centre in Quebec City.

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Prosecutor François Godin filed the direct indictment, telling the court he’d informed defence lawyer Pierre Gagnon ahead of time. Godin did not explain why the Crown resorted to the procedure.

Audrey Roy Cloutier, a spokeswoman for Quebec’s prosecution service, said prosecutors must determine that public interest justifies the use of a direct indictment, but declined to comment further due to the fact that the case remains before the court.

On March 12, Godin said the disclosure of evidence in the case was complete.

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