16 charges for suspect in Montreal shooting
Published Thursday, September 6, 2012 8:20AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 6, 2012 8:53PM EDT
The suspect in a Quebec election night shooting that left one dead and another injured appeared in court Thursday and was arraigned on 16 charges, including murder, attempted murder, arson and explosives charges.
Richard Henry Bain did not enter a plea during the brief appearance. After his charges were read, Justice Pierre Labelle ordered him to return to court on Oct. 11.
Prosecutor Elianne Perreault said after court that Bain had two guns in his possession, three in his vehicle, and 17 firearms at his home. All but one of the guns were registered.
In addition to the murder and attempted murder charges related to two shooting victims, Bain was charged with two counts of attempted murder for pointing a gun at two police officers, though he did not fire at them, Perreault said.
Court heard that only one bullet was fired near the entrance to the Metropolis club in Montreal as Marois gave her victory speech Tuesday night, killing one victim and injuring another.
Denis Blanchette, believed to be a freelance technician hired to work at the election-night event, died of his injuries. The second victim, a 27-year-old man, remains in hospital in stable condition.
An additional charge of attempted murder could be laid pending an investigation into whether Quebec's Parti Quebecois premier-elect Pauline Marois was targeted in the shooting. Currently, none of the charges relate to her.
CTV Montreal's Stephane Giroux tweeted that Bain appeared calm, composed and lucid, and scanned the courtroom as he sat listening to the judge.
His court appearance lasted less than a minute.
CTV News Channel's Todd van der Heyden said Thursday that eyewitness accounts are now suggesting the suspect's gun failed.
"In fact there could have been many more injuries and possibly more fatalities -- the reason for that is that the man had an assault rifle...and we're hearing from witnesses the gun appeared to have jammed after only a few rounds were fired," van der Heyden told CTV's Canada AM on Thursday.
Investigators and observers are trying to determine how the suspect managed to get to the door of the club where Marois was speaking, while apparently wearing a bathrobe, balaclava and carrying an assault rifle.
Details have begun to emerge about the 62-year-old Bain, who was arrested just moments after the shooting.
Van der Heyden said Bain is the owner of a hunting and fishing camp in the Laurentians, and had recently attempted to expand his business but had run into bureaucratic roadblocks which friends said left him "disgruntled."
"We also know he had mental illness issues and he was apparently seeing a doctor here in Montreal for that," van der Heyden told Canada AM.
Bain moved to the predominantly francophone village of La Conception and registered his business in 2009, although records show it was never properly licensed.
Officials at La Conception's City Hall said Bain had recently asked the province for permission to take clients on hunting expeditions in the area, but the Ministry of Natural Resources said the proposal needed further consideration.
A letter from the ministry requiring Bain to complete an environmental study before his proposal could go any further arrived on Tuesday, the day of the shooting, officials said.
Bain's court-appointed lawyer, Elfriede Duclervil,did not request a psychiatric evaluation for her client.
"I think all of that is premature. I will have discussions with my client about this," Duclervil said outside the courtroom.