Family and friends of Leanne Larocque and Gord Turner hug each other outside the Courtenay courthouse following sentencing Thursday afternoon. Photo by Erin Haluschak

Island double murderer sentenced to life in prison

Michael Simard of Courtenay eligible for parole in 18 years for two-second degree murder charges

The man found guilty of two-second degree murder charges from an incident in Courtenay in Oct. 2016 was sentenced to life in prison and will not be eligible to apply for parole for 18 years.

Thursday afternoon in Courtenay Supreme Court, Michael Philip Simard, 45, dressed in a standard-issue red Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre jumpsuit, looked at the ground and did not show any reaction or emotion in the prisoner’s box as Justice Douglas Thompson delivered his sentence.

RELATED: Crown seeking up to 25-year sentence for Courtenay double murderer

Thompson said Simard killed his former partner Leanne Larocque, 42, in the head and her close male friend Gord Turner, 45, on Oct. 5, 2016 after he shot his way into Larocque’s home in Courtenay with an SKS semi-automatic rifle loaded with an oversized magazine and 10 rounds.

Simard was transported to hospital with a self-inflicted gunshot injury.

He noted “Mr. Simard was bent on taking revenge” when he found out that Larocque, his former girlfriend, was with another man and “killed in a jealous fury.”

Simard was previously arrested for mischief when he damaged Larocque’s home in April 2016, and had breached terms of his probation.

Thompson explained to the court the crime was “a depressingly familiar” situation where “the state of mind is so common in men when they commit violence on their intimate partners.”

He explained during sentencing considerations, he placed great weight on the fact that Simard “executed two people, and killed in a context of intimate partner violence,” and the fact that he breached conditions that were in place to protect Larocque from violence.

The sentence for the two-second degree charges will be served concurrently, and Simard will also be subjected to a firearms/ammunition prohibition for life as well a bodily sample must be provided to the National DNA Data Bank.

Outside the courthouse, the families of Larocque and Turner said they were happy to find some closure.

“We have had 53 days of court, and we are happy to have it come to a close today. Our lawyers were terrific. They got a good sentencing and the judge did an excellent job. We realize that we’re not in control (of the sentencing),” noted Turner’s mother Ruth.

Ron Kelly, Larocque’s father, said the families have to live with the decision the judge presented but added the sentence was the best it could be given the circumstances.

“I thought it was a good sentence, but I think the law’s got to change. I think they should be charged for murder twice – not once. I think the laws in Canada need to be changed for a situation like that.”

Carmen Peacey, Larocque’s sister, said she believes Simard is hurting for what he did to her sister and Turner. “He’s a human just like we all are, he’s going to be sorry and he’s going to reap what he’s done.”

She added now that the sentence has been handed down, she can begin the process of coping with the loss of her sibling.

“I haven’t dealt with this yet, so now I can.”



erin.haluschak@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

UPDATED: Heavy police presence in Victoria had part of Bay Street blocked off

Bay Street east of Quadra Street was blocked off on Saturday

Hundreds of foreign species still washing up on B.C. coast, eight years after tsunami

The Royal BC Museum is home to thousands of samples collected along the west coast of North America

Victoria first Canadian city to join United Nations tree planting challenge

The City of Victoria pledges to plant 5,000 trees by the end of 2020

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

B.C. truck drivers to face higher fines for not using winter tire chains

As of Oct. 1, not using chains on the highway when required could net you a $598 ticket

Most Read