A jury makes the first verdict in a pandemic

Un jury rend le premier verdict en pandémie

After two days of deliberation, respecting the separation physical, the first jury trial to resume in full pandemic ended Sunday with a guilty verdict of manslaughter for the murder of a drug dealer in 2017.

“We applaud the work of the jury, which returned after three months of absence due to the pandemic, [ … ] They have shown courage and determination in coming back to the court room, even with the measures and precautions increased “, was keen to stress Me Matthew Ferguson, the crown prosecutor on the case.

To ensure the separation physical, the result of the proceedings was held in a large room usually used for the mega-trials in the judicial centre Gouin, in Montreal.

Ducakis Francis, 26 years old, and Willy St-Jean, 33 years old, faced charges of murder not premeditated to be the result of the death of Valery Belange, a drug dealer shot to death on August 29, 2017 in front of his house in Montreal North.

The two accused were convicted Sunday of manslaughter by the jury.

Given the involvement of a firearm, the minimum sentence is set at four years imprisonment and can go up to life in prison.

Few traces

Although he would have preferred a verdict of second degree murder, the Crown prosecutor said he was satisfied with the decision of the jury.

“It has been an investigation a long and complicated process, and the decision of the jury confirms that the police have brought to justice the individuals responsible for the murder of Valery Belange “, he explained, adding that the investigation had been especially difficult, since the two men have left very few traces on the scene before fleeing.

In fact, the police were able to trace them thanks to an imprint on a vehicle and the DNA on a hat left behind on the premises.

“It has been a long investigation, but it would not have been resolved if it had not been for the work of the police,” concludes Me Ferguson.

Submissions on sentencing are scheduled for 27 July.

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