Trial underway for man accused of murdering two people in Courtenay

Trial underway for man accused of murdering two people in Courtenay

WATCH: The trial is underway for the man accused of murdering two people in Courtenay in 2016. Michael Simard is accused of shooting and killing his ex-girlfriend and one of her friends. And today, with emotional family members in attendance, the court heard, in graphic detail, what police found at the scene of the crime. Kendall Hanson reports.

More than two years after her murder, Leanne Larocque’s family arrived at Nanaimo’s courthouse hoping for justice.

“For Leanne, and we’re glad we’re at this point,” said Barb Kelly, Leanne Larocque’s mother. “It’s been a long two years three months and I think once it’s over it will help us to have some closure.”

In October 2016, 42-year-old Larocque and Gord Turner were shot to death in her home.

Her ex-boyfriend, 45-year-old Michael Simard, was charged with two counts of second-degree murder. Prosecutors say he broke into Larocque’s home and fatally shot the couple, called 911, then shot himself before police arrived.

“They must have been terrified because they were woken up to him shooting his way in the house,” said Barb.

The court heard today that police found Larocque’s body lying behind the master bedroom door. She had been killed by a single gunshot. For Larocque’s family, it’s difficult testimony to hear.

“I knew where our daughter was shot but it was a little more detailed than I expected to hear,” said Barb

Her family says the aftermath of Larocque’s murder has taken an unimaginable toll on them, but they want her to be remembered.

“She only had four months with her granddaughter but while her granddaughter doesn’t remember her physically, her granddaughter certainly knows who she is now and everyone is making sure of that,” said Barb.

“She had a will to forgive people and I think that was one of her downfalls,” said Ron Kelly, Leanne Larocque’s father.

“I went to her lots when I needed support and she was always there for me,” said Lindsey Kelly, Larocque’s sister. “She was really funny and crazy and made everyone laugh all the time. Everyone’s going to miss her a lot. I know I do.”

The family has been attending the weeks of arguments about the admissibility of evidence and are now hearing graphic testimony. They say they need to be in the courtroom.

“I’d like to see justice be done and I think we have a good judge to do that,” said Ron Kelly.

The crown says it will call 18 witnesses during the trial that’s expected to take five weeks.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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