Killer's appeal rejected
Court makes decision in minutes; Girlfriend slain by steak knife that flew through air by accident, murderer claims
SUE MONTGOMERY, The Gazette
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.