Justin Bourque pleads guilty to killing 3 Mounties in Moncton shooting
Published Friday, August 8, 2014 6:12AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 8, 2014 5:36PM EDT
Justin Bourque, the man accused of killing three RCMP officers and wounding two others in Moncton, N.B., has pleaded guilty to all charges.
Bourque, 24, entered his plea in court Friday. He had been charged with three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.
His case is set to return to court on Oct. 27, to file victim impact statements and pre-sentencing documents.
Chief Justice David Smith said Bourque could get consecutive life sentences with no chance of parole for 75 years for the three first-degree murder charges.
Members of Bourque's family declined to comment as they left the courthouse. Moncton RCMP Supt. Marlene Snowman also left without speaking to reporters.
Bourque was arrested in June following a 30-hour manhunt that brought parts of the city of Moncton to a standstill.
Constables Dave Ross, Fabrice Gevaudan and Douglas Larche were shot and killed on June 4 after responding to a report of an armed man in Moncton's northwest. Constables Eric Dubois and Darlene Goguen were wounded and treated in hospital.
At the end of July, Bourque underwent a psychiatric assessment, and it was determined that he was competent and mentally fit to stand trial.
Affidavit reveals new details
An affidavit signed by Bourque's father was filed in provincial court last month. The affidavit was used by Bourque's lawyer to request the psychiatric assessment.
In the affidavit, Victor Bourque said he saw his son ranting and acting paranoid in the days leading up to the shooting. The affidavit contains assertions by Victor Borque that have not been proven in court.
Bourque's father said he saw his son's condition deteriorate about 18 months ago. During that time, he said he saw his son buy a gun, get kicked out of the house, and become depressed.
About two days before the shooting Victor Bourque said he tried to reason with his son while driving him to work, but his son was "ranting and raging against all authority."
He said he talked to his son hours before shots rang out in Moncton. He asked his son why he had lied to him about going to work, and his son was "distant and disrespectful" to him.
"He hung up on me. He had never spoken to me in this fashion before. His tone was very dry and as if it was another person speaking," Victor Bourque said in the affidavit.
Local resident Joan MacAlpine-Stiles said that although Bourque's guilty plea means there will be no trial, it's too soon to tell if this will give the community some added peace.
"I'm sure there is a certain relief that there's not going to be a trial, and that all of this doesn't have to be gone over again," she told CTV News Channel. "But I think for most people, this doesn't necessarily mean closure.
"I personally don't feel that there will ever be closure in one sense to this, because what has been taken away can never be returned."
She added that maybe there shouldn't be complete closure to the shooting, as the community could learn from the events of June 4.
"Maybe people should keep reminding themselves, constantly, of what these officers put on the line, and what officers in uniform put on the line for us every day," she said.
Michael LeBlanc, another local resident, said the small community of about 69,000 is still in disbelief.
"We'll probably never forget this. It's probably something we never thought would happen in Moncton," he told CTV Atlantic.
With a report by CTV Atlantic's Sarah Plowman and files from The Canadian Press