Family members of Denis Jerome Labossiere, a Manitoba man accused of killing his parents and brother, told a jury at his murder trial that he was angry with how his brother was running the family farm and wanted him shot.
Labossiere is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of his parents Fernand Labossiere, 78, and Rita, 74, as well as his brother Remi, 44.
The trial for Labossiere and his co-accused, Michel Hince, began last week in Winnipeg.
The bodies of the three Labossiere family members were found in the basement of their farm house in St. Leon, Man., after a fire in November 2005. It was later determined that they had been shot.
Garry Clark, a brother-in-law of Jerome and Remi Labossiere, testified on Monday that Jerome had made several angry statements about how Remi was handling the family farm.
At one point, Jerome Labossiere suggested that Remi "should be shot," Clark told the court.
Clark said a couple of days after the funeral for the three Labossiere members, he and Jerome talked about news that they had been shot.
Clark testified that he said to Labossiere, "I hope it wasn't you."
Labossiere replied, " Even if it was, they wouldn't be able to pin it on me," Clark told the court.
Second will surfaces
The jury also heard testimony on Monday from Nicole Labossiere Clark, a sister of Jerome and Remi Labossiere, about a will in which Remi left his estate — the family farm — to seven nieces and nephews.
Remi Labossiere's estate was worth about $1.3 million, but carried about $500,000 in debt, the court heard.
Labossiere Clark testified that Jerome Labossiere offered $25,000 to each of the nieces and nephews for their shares.
Court was told that almost a year after the fatal farmhouse fire, Jerome Labossiere started telling family members about a second will that made his son the sole heir of the family farm.
The second will also allowed Jerome Labossiere to run the farm rent-free, Labossiere Clark said.
That document was signed by Jerome and Remi Labossiere, but it had not been witnessed.
Another sister, Paulette Durocher, testified on Monday that she confronted Jerome Labossiere about his involvement in his family members' deaths.
Jerome became angry and said, "They are casualties of war," Durocher told the court.
Testimony in the trial continues on Tuesday.