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Crown wraps case at Quebec Halloween murder trial, defence to begin next week

A box of flowers and candles sit in front of Suzanne Clermont's house in Quebec City, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

The Crown has wrapped its case in the trial of a 26-year-old man charged with using a sword to murder two people and injure five others on Halloween night 2020 in Quebec City’s historic district.

Carl Girouard is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the killings of Suzanne Clermont, 61, and François Duchesne, 56, in the Vieux-Québec neighbourhood on Oct. 31, 2020. He is also charged with five counts of attempted murder.

Jurors heard from a final prosecution witness on Thursday — a forensic pathologist who described in graphic detail the wounds she found on the bodies of Duchesne and Clermont.

Read more: Quebec City Halloween stabbing suspect was calm at time of arrest: officer

Dr. Caroline Tanguay says her examination found 13 wounds on Duchesne and 22 on Clermont, with the cause of death of both victims being multiple trauma inflicted by a sharp weapon.

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The Crown declared its case closed after her testimony, and the defence will begin presenting its case next Tuesday.

The judge has told jurors that Girouard admits to killing two people and injuring five others with a sword but will argue he was not criminally responsible at the time of the events because he was suffering from a mental disorder.

Read more: Survivors testify as trial of alleged Quebec sword attacker resumes after COVID delay

Crown prosecutors allege Girouard left home about 30 kilometres north of Montreal in his car, taking a Japanese-style sword called a katana that had a 76.9-centimetre blade. They claim he wore black jogging pants, black leather boots, a short-sleeved kimono and a black mask.

After arriving in Quebec City, Girouard allegedly drove around before parking in front of Le Château Frontenac hotel in the city’s historic quarter and beginning his attack on foot.

Prosecutors allege Girouard told health-care workers as early as 2014 he intended to use a sword to murder people.

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