Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Press Clippings--Part XXXVIII

Boyfriend guilty of murder
Family relieved that Morin-Cousineau will be behind bars

By Marc LaLonde

The Chronicle, April 12, 2006

After some white-knuckle moments over the course of the five-day deliberation period, the jury came back with a verdict in the murder of Kelly-Anne Drummond.Her former boyfriend, Martin Morin-Cousineau, will now spend at least the next decade of his life in prison after being convicted of the second-degree murder of his girlfriend in their Pierrefonds apartment in October 2004.

The verdict brings to an end nearly 18 months of worry, stress and heartache for Doreen Haddad Drummond and John Drummond — and now might leave them even emptier considering what Martin Morin-Cousineau took away from them that fateful night.

“We have nothing to show for (all the heartache) except other than a monster will be off the streets of Montreal and he won’t be able to hurt any other women,” said John Drummond, emotionally.

When the jury came back to the courtroom in the Palais de Justice, it was clear they didn’t buy Morin-Cousineau’s story about an accident in the kitchen and a thrown steak knife causing her death — Morin-Cousineau even admitted on the stand that the relationship probably wasn’t going to last — recommending Judge Claude Champagne sentence Morin-Cousineau, now 32, to a minimum of 15 years in prison for a second-degree murder that carries a minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum of 25.

“I don’t think they bought it at all. I don’t think anyone bought it,” said John Drummond. “I thought it was impossible, right from the get-go, that (Kelly-Anne’s death) was an accident. After watching the arm movement he claims to have made in the police interrogation video, anyone could’ve seen that it was impossible for things to have happened the way (Morin-Cousineau) claimed they happened.

Morin-Cousineau, who was adopted by Pierrefonds residents Jean and Micheline Cousineau at three years old, displayed little emotion as the verdict was read. His parents also declined to comment to media following the decision.

Doreen Haddad Drummond said she was most relieved by the notion that Morin-Cousineau will be behind bars — away from women — for a while.

“I feel better than I did before the verdict, but you know, no one wins in these things. The important thing is that society is protected from this guy. That’s what’s important here. The jurors sent a message to society that we’re going to take conjugal violence very seriously,” she said.

Prosecutor Hélène Di Salvo said Drummond’s death should serve as a warning to other women in abusive relationships.

“There are women who are threatened, beaten and harassed and think they can deal with it themselves. But get help when you see the yellow light; don’t wait for the red light,” she said.

Morin-Cousineau also had a history of threatening behaviour toward women; he had previously been the subject of a restraining order brought against him by another woman.

John Drummond said the Drummonds never really took a liking to Morin-Cousineau, saying there was something unsettling about him.

“It wasn’t at the very beginning that we thought something was wrong, but eventually. They met in August 2003, and things started to change in late fall. My partner and I went down to Mexico for a vacation and we met with Doreen before we left. I said, ‘I don’t like Marty, I don’t want him in my house or staying at my house.’ Doreen and I both had reservations about him,” he said, continuing on to a story about the Grey Cup 2003 — where the Edmonton Eskimos pounded the Montreal Alouettes — and the couple couldn’t agree on where to watch the game, so they were in different places. He called the house repeatedly that night, looking for Kelly-Anne, and getting more and more threatening each time,” Drummond said.

“He explained to me later that he had been under pressure from his family or some nonsense, but you could see he was lying. His whole adult life has been one big lie. He’s a false person.”

Drummond said despite that, at least the Morin-Cousineau family will still be able to see their son and talk to him, contrary to what the Drummonds have been through.

“All we can do is go to Rideau Memorial Gardens in Dollard des Ormeaux and that’s all we can do. That’s no solace at all.”

Friends and supporters were always on hand at the courthouse all through the deliberation process and took much of the burden off the Drummond family, John Drummond said, but he said special thanks have to go to West Island Community Resource Centre head Ann Davidson and Association des Familles de Personnes Disparus ou Assassinés (AFPAD) chief Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu.

The sentencing hearing is scheduled for tomorrow morning at the Palais de Justice. John, Doreen and Kim Drummond (Kelly-Anne’s younger sister) will all give victim-impact statements.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Only full life imprisonment, in Solitary Confinement, only beings to give these rabid beasts that strike down these women. The family will never be happy again. It is a grave mistake to toss out the death penalty as it is the only atonement that means anything to these scum. So sad that in the U.S. increasingly cuts serious sentencing short and that the death is increasingly rare.