«It’s the determining moment, it’s about Mr. Cadotte’s state of mind,» one of Cadotte’s lawyer, Nicolas Welt, said about the jury’s request.
The jury in Michel Cadotte’s murder trial did not reach a verdict during its second day of deliberations Friday.
At the end of the day, jurors asked for an audio recording of Cadotte’s testimony to listen to it again while continuing their deliberations. Cadotte testified for more than two days during the trial.
“It’s the determining moment, it’s about Mr. Cadotte’s state of mind,” one of Cadotte’s lawyers, Nicolas Welt, said about the jury’s request. “We’ve always maintained that’s what’s going to make the difference in this case.”
The 12 jurors are considering two possible outcomes: finding Cadotte guilty of second-degree murder or guilty of manslaughter. An acquittal is not an option.
Cadotte, 57, suffocated his Alzheimer’s-stricken wife with a pillow in February 2017.
After a decade-long battle with the disease, Jocelyne Lizotte, 60, was completely dependent for all care, detached from reality, and spent most days strapped to a bed or chair.
A request for medical aid in dying Cadotte made on her behalf the previous year had been denied.
The defence has positioned the case as a “compassion killing,” arguing Cadotte killed Lizotte to end her suffering after years of watching her deteriorate.
It argues the killing was an impulsive act and Cadotte was incapable of forming the intent needed to be found guilty of murder.
The Crown has argued Cadotte was in control of his decisions and acted with intent, unjustly taking Lizotte’s fate into his own hands when she was at her most vulnerable.
In her instructions to the jurors, Superior Court Justice Hélène Di Salvo had told them the main question they need to consider is whether Cadotte, in the state of mind he was in, had formed the intent to kill Lizotte when he suffocated her.
“You will need to judge the act Mr. Cadotte committed,” she said, “but also his state of mind at that precise moment.”
The jury will continue to deliberate Saturday morning.