Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Appeal, Rejected

Killer's appeal rejected
Court makes decision in minutes; Girlfriend slain by steak knife that flew through air by accident, murderer claims
Thursday, October 8, 2009

Three judges took just 15 minutes yesterday to toss out an appeal by Martin Morin-Cousineau, convicted in April 2006 of murder after he claimed his steak knife flew through the air and accidentally lodged in his girlfriend's neck.

"No one would ever believe a knife could hit with such force," said Nicole Duval Hessler, one of three Quebec Court of Appeal judges hearing the case.

"It's not even a heavy knife. The blade snapped off and stayed inside her neck and the handle was found on the kitchen counter."

In a rare move, the court rendered its decision almost immediately after hearing arguments by the defence and the Crown.

Morin-Cousineau, 35, was found guilty of second-degree murder. He must serve 13 years in prison before he is eligible for parole.

His lawyer, Clemente Monterosso, argued yesterday the judge at the Superior Court trial should have given the jury the option of finding Morin-Cousineau guilty of manslaughter, meaning he didn't intend to kill Kelly-Anne Drummond in their Pierrefonds apartment in 2004.

The judge also shouldn't have allowed testimony from two witnesses because it was hearsay, Monterosso said.

The appeals court rejected both arguments.

Morin-Cousineau claimed that while he and Drummond, 24, were arguing, he threw his hands up in frustration, sending the steak knife with which he'd been eating through the air, stabbing her in the back of the neck. The defence theorized that Drummond tripped on a soft-drink bottle and fell back against the stove, which pushed the knife farther into base of her skull, snapping off the blade.

Yesterday, crown prosecutor Michel Pennou pointed out that Morin-Cousineau never said at his trial that he threw the knife. He simply said he threw his hands in the air, noticed the fork had landed next to him on the couch, but didn't know what happened to the knife.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Five Years

Five years have passed by in the blink of an eye. My life was forever changed five years ago. I've never quite been the same.

A phone ringing unexpectedly early in the morning--as it did when my parents called that Monday morning to tell me Kelly-Anne had been attacked--can still bring me to my knees. The approach of the crisp fall weather reminds me of what I've lost. The sight of someone with beautiful ringlets and a wide smile can still bring tears to my eyes.

Some of my memories of Kelly-Anne have faded. But some are as clear as if they happened an hour ago. I haven't found anyone or anything to fill the void that Kelly-Anne left in my life. But I have not allowed this to break me, either.

I try to honor Kell's memory and legacy in big and small ways: the photo of her with a Canadian flag on her cheek that hangs above my desk; smiling and dancing at a Great Big Sea concert; endless roadtrip adventures; this blog; a Martha Stewart crafting project.

As we approach yet another unhappy anniversary, I hope you will honor Kell's memory in your own life. Reach out to a friend you haven't spoken to in a while. Encourage a small child or teenager who is searching for his or her path. Attempt a crafting project just for the heck of it. Stop, literally, and smell the roses. You never know how much time you have left.

Funny Memories--Post Five

This one comes from a comment that was left in Kelly-Anne's online obituary by the mother of one of her students at L'Academie Marie Claire:

"Kelly-Anne was a remarkable person with many facets to her life. I knew her not as an athlete or a team-mate but as a teacher to my young son, Zachary. She encouraged Zachary to express his uniqueness, to laugh loudly, to play boisterously and, most of all, to just have fun. She was a breath of fresh air, and her tragic death has left a hole in my family's hearts. What other educator would play air guitar with Zachary and actually know the words to "Summer of '69" to sing along with him? We were lucky to have had her in our lives -- and are blessed because of it. Doreen and John, you raised a wonderful daughter. I think of you and Kimberley often and hope peace finds you. And I will never forget Kelly-Anne. "

Article from the Hudson Gazette

A mother's journey
By Suzana Vukic
Hudson Gazette

It happened five years ago but for Doreen Haddad-Drummond, it feels like yesterday. On October 3, 2004, just before midnight, she got a phone call from her ex-husband John Drummond. Their daughter Kelly-Anne had been attacked and was at the Montreal General Hospital. Doreen was half-asleep when she took the call. It all seemed like a dream.

Once at the Montreal General Hospital's trauma unit, in the midst of chaos, she saw Kelly-Anne hooked up to life-support machines. A brain scan revealed a knifeblade still embedded in Kelly-Anne's head. Her brain stem had been severed from her spinal cord. No medical solution existed to fix this. The stabbing left Kelly-Anne brain-dead and paralyzed, unable to breathe without life support.

Doreen wanted to hold on to hope but realized that was impossible. On October 5, 2004, at 3:30 p.m., the family decided to turn off Kelly-Anne's life support.

Martin Morin-Cousineau, Kelly-Anne's boyfriend, stabbed her behind the neck with a steak knife, approaching from behind, in the apartment they shared in Pierrefonds. It emerged that Morin-Cousineau had a history of violence towards women and that Kelly-Anne had been considering leaving him. He pleaded not guilty and claimed the fatal blow was an accident.

At his 2006 trial, a jury found Morin-Cousineau guilty of second-degree murder, a charge which automatically carries a life sentence. He must serve a minimum of 13 years in prison before being considered for parole. He remains unrepentant to this day.

It's hard to fathom a mother coping and going on with the knowledge that her precious daughter, at 24, lost her life at the hands of someone she knew and loved. Yet go on she must, and Doreen has found the courage to do so with great dignity and purpose. Since Kelly-Anne's death, Doreen has been involved with and given support to families of homicide victims. These days, her efforts are focused on speaking at conferences and getting her message out to women who are victims of abuse and violence, urging them to leave their abusers before it's too late. "We've lost too many women in Quebec", says Doreen.

Kelly-Anne left behind her parents and sister Kim, exactly 11 months younger than her and someone for whom Kelly-Anne was a great friend and mentor. Kelly-Anne also had many friends who mourn her to this day. She was a popular young woman, an accomplished athlete and team player. She played rugby and water polo, among other sports, and was a lifeguard. She had gone to Italy weeks before her death to compete at an international lifeguarding competition in Viareggio. Kelly-Anne had graduated with a communications degree from Concordia University in 2002. She worked as an educator in a daycare with small children.

On October 5, the family will commemorate the fifth anniversary of Kelly-Anne's death in a small, private remembrance ceremony.

On September 29, a fundraising women's rugby event was held, as it has been every year at around the same time since Kelly-Anne's death. The Kelly-Anne Drummond Memorial Cup is played between the Concordia and McGill women's rugby teams in her honour (Kelly-Anne played for the Concordia Stingers). This year the money raised will go to Women Aware, an organization that provides support to women facing conjugal violence. Each year in March since her death, the Montreal Barbarians Rugby Club (for whom Kelly-Anne also played) hosts a fundraiser at McKibbin's Irish Pub, West Island, "celebrating the spirit of Kelly-Anne".

On November 28, as in every year since her death, the Quebec Lifesaving Society will hold a cocktail fundraiser for the Kelly-Anne Drummond Foundation to commemorate her birthday at the D.D.O. Aquatic Centre. This is the year she would have turned 30.
All of these events are hosted by Kelly-Anne's friends, peers and fellow athletes, something Doreen finds deeply touching.

Especially heartwarming is a blog created by Kelly-Anne's good friend, Rachel Ayerst, in remembrance of Kelly-Anne ( Doreen has also created her own blog in remembrance of her late daughter ( In reading it, one can see that Kelly-Anne's spirit is still strongly felt by Doreen as she lives out each day without her. Doreen looks to Kelly-Anne for an example of how best to live life. She sees her daughter as her guide and mentor. Kelly-Anne loved life and people. She had a great sense of adventure, always smiled and laughed, and was forever keen on learning and being involved.

"It's a life sentence that we're living," Doreen says. "Every day that we're alive and that Kelly-Anne isn't here with us is a life sentence."