• James Armstrong

Preliminary hearing begins for Vaudreuil-Dorion double homicide


THE JOURNAL FILE PHOTO/CARMEN MARIE FABIO

The two suspects in the December 1, 2016 fatal shooting of two men in a wooded area of Vaudreuil-Dorion have been in custody since their arrest 18 months ago.

The preliminary hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to proceed with the first degree murder trial of Les Cèdres resident Richard Hunt and Mélanie Binette of Coteau-du-Lac began in the Valleyfield Courthouse on Monday, May 14. A publication ban prevents any details of the hearing being held before Judge Anne-Marie Jacques from being published according to Crown Prosecutor Claude Doire.

“If the judge rules there is enough evidence, then we will go to trial, a trial by jury,” said Doire. The preliminary hearing is expected to last eight days while close to 20 witnesses including civilians, police, and crime scene investigators present their testimony and are cross-examined by lawyers for the defense.

December 2016 events

Hunt and Binette are accused of the shooting deaths of 45-year-old Joseph Fluet and 38-year-old Steven Lamarsh on December 1, 2016 as reported in The Journal, December 6, 2016. The double murder took place in a wooded area on Montée Alstonvale near the corner of Moffat Street in Vaudreuil-Dorion. Police responded to a call of a man in critical condition found in that area who was pronounced dead after being transported to hospital. A second man was found in the vicinity later in the day in critical condition from gunshot wounds. He was also pronounced dead in hospital.

Charges laid

Various media reports have linked both victims to the Rock Machine motorcycle gang. However, police did not confirm this information at the time saying only there was a connection to a biker gang. Hunt and Binette face two charges under section 235 of the Canadian Criminal Code – first-degree murder and murder using a prohibited firearm. If convicted, the pair could face the maximum sentence for first-degree murder of life in prison.

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