Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Defence Begins in Case of Quebec Man Charged with Killing Ailing Wife

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Defence Begins in Case of Quebec Man Charged with Killing Ailing Wife

Article excerpt

Cadotte defence will hinge on state of mind

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MONTREAL - A Quebec woman who was allegedly killed by her husband as she suffered from advanced Alzheimer's had told family she didn't want to end up like their mother, who also had the disease, a jury heard Thursday.

Johanne Lizotte took the stand Thursday in defence of Michel Cadotte, who is charged with second-degree murder in the death of her sister, Jocelyne Lizotte.

Jocelyne Lizotte was 60 and in the late stages of Alzheimer's disease that had left her unable to care for herself and detached from reality. She was found dead in her bed at a Montreal long-term care facility on Feb. 20, 2017.

The trial has heard that a year earlier Cadotte sought a medically assisted death for his wife of 19 years and was told by centre staff she didn't qualify. A head nurse at the Emilie Gamelin long-term care facility testified Cadotte admitted to her she suffocated his wife.

Johanne Lizotte told jurors their mother had Alzheimer's and died in 2005. She said her sister confided in her on numerous occasions that she didn't want to end up in the same state.

"I can tell you my sister told me repeatedly while my mother was still ill that she did not want to lose her dignity, that she would rather die than stay like our mother was -- the loss of dignity," she testified.

Johanne Lizotte said she didn't know if her sister had signed a mandate in the event she became incapacitated.

She was one of a handful of witnesses to take the stand as Cadotte's lawyers began mounting a defence that will include testimony from the accused.

Lawyer Nicolas Welt told jurors in an opening statement that the defence won't dispute the essence of the evidence heard to date. It will argue that he cannot be held responsible for the killing because of his state of mind at the time. …

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