SAINT-JEROME, Que. — Ugo Fredette, a Quebec man who stabbed his ex-spouse to death and murdered a man to steal his car, was ordered Friday to serve 25 years in prison before he's eligible for parole.
Superior Court Justice Myriam Lachance delivered her ruling in court in St-Jerome, Que., about 60 kilometres north of Montreal. A jury had found Fredette, 45, guilty in October 2019 of first-degree murder in the death of Veronique Barbe and Yvon Lacasse — a man he killed at a rest stop over a vehicle.
Fredette had fled Barbe's home with a six-year-old boy who was found unharmed when he was arrested 24 hours later in Ontario. He has appealed the verdict and is seeking a new trial.
A first-degree murder conviction comes with an automatic life sentence without possibility of parole for 25 years, but the Crown had asked for Fredette to serve 50 years in prison before a chance at parole — 25 years for each of his two victims.
Lachance's sentencing decision was not a surprise, however, because last November, Quebec's highest court declared consecutive life sentences unconstitutional. The court made the ruling following an appeal by Quebec City mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette.
Fredette had also been contesting the constitutionality of multiple sentences.
The families of Fredette's two victims told reporters at the St-Jerome courthouse that 25 years in prison without the possibility of parole was not enough.
"We would have liked for more," Claudette Biard, Barbe's mother, said.
Lacasse's daughter, Jennifer, said the judge's ruling sends the message that someone can murder two or more people and the consequences are the same as if they kill one.
"“What I take away from all this is that Veronique got 25 years (the sentence for her murder) but my father got nothing. There was zero," she said. "He died for nothing."
Fredette killed Barbe at her home by stabbing her 17 times with a knife before fleeing with the child. He later killed Lacasse, 71, at a highway rest stop and stole his vehicle.
Friday's ruling doesn't mean Fredette will necessarily be released after 25 years in prison. The Parole Board of Canada can deny an eventual application for parole.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 8, 2021.
Stephanie Marin, The Canadian Press