The jury should begin to deliberate Thursday at the trial of Maxime Chicoine-Joubert, this 26-year-old man accused of the premeditated murder of an 18-year-old passer-by stabbed in the back in the middle of the street in what the defense recognizes as a “tragic event,” free and foolish ”.
The victim, Simon-Olivier Bendwell, died after being hit with a sharp object in the back, at the corner of Maisonneuve and Saint-Laurent boulevards, on July 28, 2019. With a friend, he was walking in the street and had just crossed paths with Maxime Chicoine-Joubert, an aggressive and intoxicated man in his twenties.
In her argument to jurors on Tuesday, the accused’s lawyer, Mr.e Marie-Hélène Giroux, reviewed the evidence presented to the court in recent weeks and stressed that the images from surveillance cameras presented to the court do not show the moment when the fatal blow was struck.
According to her, the evidence does not support a conclusion beyond a reasonable doubt that her client was armed and that he hit the victim on the back. And even if jurors were to conclude that he did, they should take into account that he was too intoxicated to have planned his action and acted on purpose.
“The death of Simon-Olivier Bendwell is a tragic event, gratuitous and insane”, hammered Me Giroux, who was defending alongside his colleague Me Cynthia Payer.
“But Maxime Chicoine-Joubert cannot be found guilty of the offenses simply because his death must be punished,” she stressed.
“This is a special case here, because Maxime Chicoine-Joubert has no memory of the events,” she said.
She recalled that the accused recounted having consumed a lot of alcohol as well as cocaine on the fateful evening. “Do you really think that an individual who was drunk, really drunk, is going to be able to think about his project, to premeditate to kill someone? Is this someone who will be able to assess the nature, the consequences of his gesture? She asked.
Stab to vent your anger
For her part, the crown prosecutor Katerine Brabant, represented the public prosecutor alongside Mr.e Louis Bouthillier, ended by submitting to the jury that the guilt of the accused is “the only logical conclusion which emerges from all the evidence”.
She pointed out that it was the accused himself who made the choice to drink that evening, even though in the past he had already noticed that alcohol made him aggressive. “I submit to you that the accused decided to get intoxicated when he knew very well that he was becoming aggressive. It was not a new situation for him, ”she said.
After arguing with a clerk at a Subway restaurant, the accused allegedly left for the street with the goal of venting his anger on someone, she said. Cameras have captured his aggressive attitude.
“That’s the plan. Stab someone to vent their anger, ”said the prosecutor.
“He still chose two young men who are puny,” she observed.
“I submit to you that the accused intended and committed a crime of great cowardice against an innocent and passive victim. I submit to you that proof has been made that the accused exaggerated his alcohol consumption. And I submit to you that it is with the objective of seeing himself acquitted ”, continued Mr.e Brabant.
“If Simon-Olivier had stayed with his mother that evening, I submit that the accused would have vented his anger on someone else,” she concluded Wednesday afternoon.
Judge Marc-André Blanchard is expected to give his instructions to the jurors on Thursday, then deliberations will begin.