Murderous cavalry in Mauricie: René Kègle pleads guilty
René Kègle was charged with the premeditated murder of Ophélie Martin-Cyr and the attempted murder of another young girl (archives).
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Four years after his murderous run, René Kègle pleaded guilty to three reduced charges of unpremeditated murder as well as one charge of attempted murder.
He admitted his guilt Friday at the Trois-Rivières courthouse, a few days before the opening of his trial for the murder of one of the victims, Jean-Christophe Gilbert.
He therefore avoids holding this trial as well as two others which were to follow, for the murders of Ophélie Martin-Cyr and Steve Lamy.
Prosecutors from the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DPCP) gave an account of the three murders that took place between October 2 and 10, 2018.
René Kègle was present in court . Hair tied behind his head, several pounds heavier, he listened to the prosecutors' story, looking contrite.
His lawyer, Me Annie-Sophie Bédard, has clarified that he has no personal memory of the events, but that he acknowledges that they are factual.
Prosecutors intend to submit to Quebec Superior Court Judge Raymond W. Pronovost a joint sentencing suggestion at an upcoming hearing.
DPCP Counsel Benoit Larouche specifies that René Kègle receives a life sentence, it is only on the delay to parole that the judge will have to decide.
The advantage of these pleas, according to Me Larouche, is in particular to have avoided the holding of three trials. We also avoid, if we had won the trials, going to appeal and perhaps restarting one or more trials in this group of three trials, he said.
Before concluding the agreement with the defense, the prosecutors consulted people affected by this tragedy. We met family members, victims, brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers […]. What they had to tell us was important, we also considered it in accepting a plea on a reduced count, explained Me Benoit Larouche at the end of the hearing.
René Kègle pleads guilty: relief for the families of the victims
Jean-Christophe Gilbert, the first victim of René Kègle's murderous run, was assassinated on 2 October 2018. The man from Massueville was then 24 years old.
His dismembered and charred body had been found in a burned vehicle with that of Steve Lamy, on chemin Bradley, in Trois-Rivières.
His last victim, Ophélie Martin-Cyr, 19 years old, was shot and killed in a field in Yamachiche. A friend of hers, a 21-year-old young woman, had managed to escape through the window of the moving vehicle.
After being actively sought by the authorities, René Kègle and Francis Martel were arrested on the night of October 11 to 12, 2018.
Francis Martel pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of accessory after the fact last May. He was then sentenced to 5 years and 10 months.
Other co-accused in connection with the murders of Jean-Christophe Gilbert and Steve Lamy have also pleaded guilty since the events.
October 2, 2018
René Kègle kills Jean-Christophe Gilbert, 24, in his kitchen in Saint-Maurice. René Kègle made him suffer many abuses to which he finally succumbed. Machete lacerations, gunshot wound, kick, bag to the head. His body was dismembered after his death. His body was found in Steve Lamy's charred car.
Motif : René Kègle maintained, according to witnesses, that Jean-Christophe Gilbert, who had converted to Islam, wanted to bring his former sister-in-law to a Muslim country by force.
October 8, 2018
Steve Lamy, 50, is killed in his residence in Trois-Rivières. The construction contractor was the former brother-in-law of René Kègle. He was beaten, shot and burned with a butane torch.
Motive : The murderer knew that Steve Lamy had money hidden in his home. René Kègle tortured him to death to make him reveal his hiding places. His body was also found in the charred vehicle on Bradley Street two days later.
October 10, 2018
Ophélie Martin-Cyr, 19, was shot dead in a field in Yamachiche.
Reason : René Kègle and Francis Martel wanted to obtain information from him on a theft of drugs and money, which occurred in an apartment in the Cap-de-la- Magdalene. Ophélie Martin-Cyr and a 21-year-old friend were forcibly taken by the two men in a vehicle to a field in Yamachiche. This is where René Kègle shot the young woman. His body was found later that morning.
October 12, 2018
René Kègle was arrested in Repentigny. While he was on the run, wanted by the police, he bought two plane tickets to go to the Dominican Republic.