WATCH: A Courtenay man will spend at least 18 years behind bars for a 2016 double murder. The 45-year-old was found guilty of killing his former girlfriend and one of her male friends. The victim’s families were on hand for the sentencing. Kendall Hanson reports.
The families of the two people brutally gunned down in a Courtenay home two and a half years ago attended the killer’s final day of criminal proceedings.
They learned 45-year-old Michael Simard, found guilty of murdering Leanne Larocque and Gord Turner, will not be eligible for parole for 18 years.
“We have had 53 days of court and we’re happy to have it come to a close today and our lawyers were terrific. They got a good sentencing. The judge did an excellent job,” said Ruth Turner, Gord Turner’s mother.
The victim’s families members say, while the sentence was appropriate under current Canadian law, it should have been tougher. They say Simard should be serving two life sentences for killing two people.
“I think so, yes,” said Ron Kelly, Larocque’s father. “I think the laws in Canada need to be changed.”
In October 2016 42-year-old Laroque and 45-year-old Turner were shot to death in her home. Her ex-boyfriend 45-year-old Michael Simard was found guilty of two counts of second-degree murder.
He was found to have broken into the home during the night and fatally shot the couple and shot himself before police arrived.
The victim’s families say the end of the court process will bring some closure.
“I haven’t dealt with this yet so now I can. it’s going to be nice,” said Carmen Peacey, Laroque’s sister.
“I’m just glad it’s all over. It’s been a long two and a half years and now we can just move on,” said Barb Kelly, Larocque’s mother.
They do accept Simard is remorseful for what he’s done but it’s still left three families forever changed.