NEWS
08/11/2016 14:39 EDT | Updated 08/12/2017 01:12 EDT

Crown, defence lay out their cases regarding Quebec's 2012 election shooting

MONTREAL — The Crown and defence clashed one last time at the trial of accused murderer Richard Henry Bain on Thursday as they attempted to bolster their cases before the jury is sequestered.

In his closing arguments, prosecutor Dennis Galiatsatos said that although Bain claims he doesn't remember what happened when he allegedly pulled the trigger on the night of Sept. 4, 2012, the accused offered a detailed account in handwritten notes to a forensic psychiatrist two months later.

Bain told defence expert Marie-Frederique Allard during that meeting "the plan was to kill as many separatists as I could."

Galiatsatos said the evidence on the whole suggests Bain had a premeditated plan to kill and a political motive fuelled by anger over the Parti Quebecois victory that day.

Bain faces six charges, including first-degree murder in the slaying of stagehand Denis Blanchette and three counts of attempted murder.

The prosecutor suggested Bain had time to "think and rethink" what he was going to do, having returned home to collect and load weapons two hours from Montreal before returning.

His car radio was tuned to CBC Radio, which projected and confirmed the PQ win several times throughout the night as well as carrying the speech by then-leader Pauline Marois amid chants of supporters yelling "We Want a Country."

"Imagine how that felt to someone with a hatred for separatists or the PQ," Galiatsatos said.

Blanchette was killed outside a Montreal nightclub as Marois spoke inside.

"The PQ rally was, arguably, a gathering of separatists: the object of Mr. Bain's hatred," Galiatsatos said.

The Crown pointed to witness testimony from Blanchette's colleagues and police that suggested Bain showed no signs of stopping even when the rifle jammed after a single shot was fired.

Galiatsatos will continue his arguments Friday and jurors are expected to be sequestered sometime during the day.

Earlier on Thursday, defence lawyer Alan Guttman asked the jury to find Bain not criminally responsible by way of mental disorder.

He asked jurors to weigh all of the evidence with the following in mind: "Was this anger? Or was this a man who was mentally sick?"

Guttman said the jury's first order of business will be to consider the mental disorder defence: that Bain was probably psychotic due to an undiagnosed bipolar disorder when he allegedly opened fire.

Guttman asked the jurors to examine parallels between Bain's odd behaviour in 2009 — where experts agreed he was psychotic while on the anti-depressant Cymbalta and became obsessed with H1N1 pandemic — and 2012, when he allegedly started taking the drug again.

"Since 2009 when he became manic and psychotic, he was never the same person, he never really really came back," Guttman said.

If the jurors opt against the defence of not criminally responsible, Guttman suggested the evidence did not show the level of premeditation for first-degree murder and that they should find Bain guilty of a lesser charge and acquit him on the five other charges.

The defence lawyer pointed the jury toward a police officer's testimony that Bain told him he "just wanted to shoot over their head but I got one and it jammed" and then later said it was by "grace of God" the weapon had malfunctioned.

He also asked jurors to carefully consider Bain's notes to Allard.

"You'll have to decide if it's the words of an angry man or a man who is mentally sick," Guttman said.

"It's a puzzle. You have to put it together."

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