Stéphane Blanchard, the man who coldly shot Jacques Choquette in 2016 in exchange for the equivalent of $ 5,000 in cannabis, was found guilty of premeditated murder on Tuesday at the Sherbrooke courthouse.
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The jury, which had been sequestered Monday afternoon, came to this conclusion after rejecting the possible verdicts of second degree murder or manslaughter.
This means that the jurors did not believe the accused. The latter, without denying having shot the 51-year-old entrepreneur, claimed to have simply wanted to frighten him by firing a shot that would have inadvertently hit him in the head.
Blanchard will therefore automatically receive a sentence of life imprisonment.
Earlier Tuesday, jurors asked for clarification on the concepts of reasonable doubt and conspiracy, in connection with the fact that the accused may have acted under pressure to commit the murder. They also demanded to be able to listen to the recording of Blanchard’s testimony which lasts almost six hours.
Also accused of conspiracy for murder, remember that the 38-year-old man confessed to investigators when he was arrested in 2018.
It was at the request of an alleged accomplice, Daniel Giroux, that he committed this crime, which was motivated by a debt of money.
Called to testify in his defense, Stéphane Blanchard delivered a different version from that given to the police. The accused said the plan was rather to scare Jacques Choquette by firing a shot in his direction. He would never have intended to reach him, let alone kill him, he had assured in his defense.
Story of events
Recall that on the evening of November 3, 2016, Jacques Choquette was absent from home for a business meeting.
He never returned to the fold. The next day, his vehicle, a white Mercedes, was discovered set on fire in an isolated row of Saint-Valérien-de-Milton.
After two years of investigation, investigators of crimes against the person of the Sûreté du Québec made three arrests in November 2018. Stéphane Blanchard, Daniel Giroux and Mathieu Valade Williams were charged with premeditated murder and conspiracy to murder Jacques Choquette.
The bones of the victim were discovered the following June in a wooded area on the golf course, on the limits of Stukely Sud and Waterloo.
– With information from Jean-François Desbiens, TVA Nouvelles