ST-JEROME, Que. — A Quebec man found guilty of two murders poses a high risk to public safety as well as a risk of evading authorities, correctional documents filed at his sentencing hearing Tuesday suggest.
Ugo Fredette, 44, was convicted last October of first-degree murder in the deaths of his ex-spouse Veronique Barbe, 41, and Yvon Lacasse, 71, a man he killed at a rest stop to steal his vehicle, on the same day in September 2017.
He had fled Barbe’s home with a six-year-old boy who was found unharmed when Fredette was arrested 24 hours later in Ontario.
Fredette has appealed the verdict and is seeking a new trial.
A first-degree murder conviction comes with an automatic life sentence without possibility of parole for 25 years, but the Crown is seeking to have that ineligibility doubled to 50 years.
The Criminal Code allows parole eligibility to be stacked for multiple murders.
Fredette’s lawyer has been trying to convince Justice Myriam Lachance that imposing a 25-year ineligibility period is the right choice, noting that with a 50-year period, Fredette would be about 90 years old before being allowed to seek a release.
Correctional Service Canada documents and testimony produced on the second day of Fredette’s sentencing hearing portray him as failing to accept full responsibility for his crimes and continuing to pose a danger to the public.
Fredette’s correctional plan, created in January, said he takes a “low” level of responsibility. While admitting killing Barbe and Lacasse, he told officials of provocation in both slayings.
He also doesn’t seem to understand the gravity and extent of the consequences of his actions on the relatives and families of his victims, the document states, even “bitterly” regretting not forcing the youngster he took with him on the run to testify at his trial.
Another assessment dated January 2020 gave Fredette a rating of “high” when it came to risk of evasion, given that he fled the scene of Barbe’s slaying at her home in St-Eustache, Que., with the child before killing Lacasse to continue on the lam more discreetly.
He then pretended to harm the child when surrounded by authorities in Ontario in order to avoid arrest, the report states.
The same report also concludes Fredette poses a “high” risk for the general population.
“The subject has demonstrated that he is capable of causing the death of more than one person, in a very violent manner,” the report reads, noting the first killing was a case of domestic violence while the second was in a completely different context.
However, the document states that Fredette is adapting well to prison, hasn’t gotten into trouble with corrections officials and was open to the interviews to complete the report.
Fredette’s parents wrote a letter on his behalf to Lachance that said consecutive sentences would amount to a death sentence for him, imploring her to chose the lesser sentence even if he is one of the ”most hated people in the society.”
Claudette Blouin and Michel Fredette sought help for their son behind bars, describing him as a polite, emotional, sensitive person.
But they added they knew how horrible and painful it must be for the families of the victims.
“There are acts that were committed by Ugo and there is Ugo as a person which are two very different things,” they wrote. ”Recognizing the qualities and the beautiful person that Ugo is does not mean excusing the acts that have been committed.”
This article by The Canadian Press was first published June 2, 2020.
Stephanie Marin, The Canadian Press