Trial starts for man accused in Quebec City’s 2020 Halloween sword attack
It took less than an hour to select the 12 jurors for the trial of Carl Girouard, the 26-year-old man accused of killing two people and injuring five more with a sword in Quebec City’s historic district on Halloween night in 2020.
The Quebec City courtroom was packed as the jury selection got underway Monday morning. Quebec Superior Court Justice Richard Grenier explained the process to the audience.
Eight women and four men will determine whether or not Girouard is criminally responsible for his actions. Those selected had to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Grenier told the courtroom that Girouard acknowledges having committed the actions he is accused of but will plead not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder because he says his mental state at the time prevented him from being responsible.
Girouard, who is from Sainte-Thérèse, Que., near Montreal, is charged with killing François Duchesne, 56, and Suzanne Clermont, 61.
The lanky young man was present in the courtroom for the hearing, wearing an orange shirt and sporting a shaved head. He rocked back and forth in his seat as he waited for the procedures to start.
François Godin is the Crown prosecutor for this case, while Girouard’s attorney is Pierre Gagnon. The lawyers expect the trial to last four to six weeks.