ST-JEROME, Que. — A Quebec man charged with the first-degree murders of two people, including his ex-wife, has told a jury that a combination of stress and anger were precursors to the killing.Ugo Fredette was under cross examination by the Crown on Friday, two days after taking the stand in his defence.Fredette has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murders of his ex, Veronique Barbe, and Yvon Lacasse, a random stranger he came across at a highway stop. Defence lawyer Louis-Alexandre Martin has told the court his client’s actions were not premeditated and that he snapped on the day of killings. Martin urged jurors to find Fredette guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter on both counts.The Crown argued that Fredette couldn’t accept the end of his relationship with Barbe, 41, so he allegedly stabbed her 17 times before fleeing with a child who was present at the scene. While on the lam, he allegedly killed Lacasse, 71, before stealing the man’s car at a rest stop.Fredette, 43, was arrested Sept. 15, 2017, in Ontario. He was reportedly spotted by citizens across Quebec during his alleged run from authorities.On Friday, the accused brushed off the Crown’s assertion his relationship with Barbe was “toxic,” describing it instead as “intense” or “hard-core.”Fredette was also questioned about a violent altercation outside the home he shared with Barbe just four days before both murders.Prosecutor Steve Baribeau asked Fredette if he had a problem with violence.“What happened is unacceptable,” Fredette said, alleging it was the first time such an altercation between the two had taken place.Fredette elected to take the stand in his own defence and told jurors Wednesday he exploded when Barbe threatened him with a knife on Sept. 14, 2017.The accused testified that he didn’t remember stabbing his ex-wife numerous times and was left with a singular image of her, inert on the ground, with a knife in her stomach.As for the slaying of Lacasse, Fredette said he was ashamed.He said he attacked Lacasse at a rest stop because he thought the man was trying to kidnap the same six-year-old boy Fredette had fled with.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 4, 2019.Stephanie Marin, The Canadian Press
Earlier this week, Starlight Children’s Foundation Global Ambassador and New York Times best-selling author Tony DiTerlizzi (“The Spiderwick Chronicles,” “The Spider and the Fly,” “Ted”) and Starlight and Juvenile Arthritis Association (JAA) supporter and actress Teri Hatcher (“Coraline,” “Desperate Housewives”) entertained pediatric patients in treatment for juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA).Tony DiTerlizzi, Jacqueline Hart-Ibrahim, Teri Hatcher and patient SophiaCredit/Copyright: Robert Shotwell, AP InvisionThe pair entertained patients with a reading and illustrations from “The Search for WondLa,” the first installment in DiTerlizzi’s middle grade science fiction fantasy WondLA book triology.Hatcher, who voiced all three audiobooks in the series, read selections from the book while DiTerlizzi brought the scenes to life through sketches. The children sketched along with the author who provided sketch tablets for each child who attended. DiTerlizzi is currently on a national book to promote “The Battle for WondLa,” the trilogy’s third book.“Children are still children regardless of their circumstances,” said DiTerlizzi. “They should be able to play, imagine, and explore. As a child, getting lost in the pages of my favorite books sparked my imagination and whisked me away from my mundane reality to fantastical, adventure-filled worlds. I feel that hospitalized children can truly benefit from the same experience.”DiTerlizzi continued, “I am thrilled that Starlight Children’s Foundation shares this vision and that I am able to share my stories with young patients across the globe. I am honored to be affiliated with this wonderful organization and the children and families whose lives they improve.”Publisher Simon & Schuster generously donated copies of “The WondLa,” the trilogy’s first book, to Starlight who provided copies to all of the patients at the event. The book will also be offered to the more than 400 partner facilities currently on the charity’s Starlight Wish List platform, an innovative online giving and product philanthropy marketplace that directly connects individual donors and charitable corporations to health care facilities around the U.S.“Tony and Teri understand that hospitalization needn’t prevent kids and families from experiencing all of the joy, wonder and creativity that childhood has to offer,” said Starlight Global CEO Jacqueline Hart-Ibrahim who attended today’s event. “We are so pleased to be here today with them, the outstanding CHLA staff and the pediatric patients and their families to support their fantastic entertainment and celebrate Simon & Schuster’s generous donation of Tony’s delightful book.”Dr. Andreas Reiff, MD, Division Head, Rheumatology, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles praised the event saying, “This is a unique opportunity to shed some light on children with rheumatic disorders. There are more than 300,000 kids in the U.S. who suffer from these kinds of diseases, and very few people are aware of it. With the help of people like Teri, Tony, JAA and Starlight Children’s Foundation, we finally have a platform to raise awareness and help kids.”For more than five years, Caldecott Honor winner DiTerlizzi has lent his creative talents and literary esteem to Starlight by raising funds and awareness for the organization. Hatcher is also a longtime supporter of Starlight having attended many events for the charity, including its annual fundraising dinner gala in Los Angeles, the Starlight Awards.
APTN National NewsThe daughter of South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu is in Canada speaking to residential school survivors and post-apartheid South Africans.Mpho Tutu’s message is clear – South Africa and Canada share similar dark histories.APTN’s Delaney Windigo has the story.
Shaneen Robinson-DesjarlaisAPTN National NewsMore than 100 people have been forced to leave their homes on the Opaskwayak Cree Nation in northern Manitoba.Rapidly rising water from two nearby rivers is expected to spill over the dyke that was built only a few years ago during the 2011 flood that hit most of Manitoba.Evacuees have been staying in local hotels since Saturday with help from the Red Cross and band leadership.In a phone interview with APTN, evacuee Veronica Prysiazniuk said, “We were surprised when they came at 2:30 and told us that we had to get out.”Prysiazniuk has lived in her home on Braken Dam Road for 15 years and has never had to leave because of a spring flooding until now.“Well it’s the first time that we’ve been evacuated, so we know things are pretty dire,” she said.OCN is located about 600 kilometres north of Winnipeg and has 3,500 people living in the community. It’s where the nearby Carrot river flows into the North Saskatchewan river. Usually the dyke is enough during the spring, but OCN”s Chief Christian Sinclair is worried this year.“The ice sheet itself has never stayed this long in the season, so what’s happening is because the ice is not breaking up, the waters are rising underneath,” said Sinclair.He’s called on 90 volunteers to sandbag around the clock.“Right now we’re just monitoring it every hour on the hour because we’re going into unprecedented times,” he said.The Red Cross and OCN leadership will continue to help evacuees with food, lodging and supplies while home owners stand by and hope for the best.“They’ve looked after all our needs, so we really don’t have any worries except stressing about what’s going to be happening in our homes,” said Prysiazniuk.Sinclair is hopeful they are prepared: “We’ve got a great team in place, logistics are set, all the resources are ready and on standby.”This while more than 300 people from five southern Manitoba First Nations were also forced to leave their homes because of spring flooding.The Carrot and North Saskatchewan rivers are expected to crest by [email protected] @shaneenthescene