Family and friends of Leanne Larocque and Gord Turner hug each other outside the Courtenay courthouse following sentencing Thursday afternoon. Photo by Erin Haluschak

Island double murderer sentenced to life in prison

Michael Simard of Courtenay eligible for parole in 18 years for two-second degree murder charges

The man found guilty of two-second degree murder charges from an incident in Courtenay in Oct. 2016 was sentenced to life in prison and will not be eligible to apply for parole for 18 years.

Thursday afternoon in Courtenay Supreme Court, Michael Philip Simard, 45, dressed in a standard-issue red Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre jumpsuit, looked at the ground and did not show any reaction or emotion in the prisoner’s box as Justice Douglas Thompson delivered his sentence.

RELATED: Crown seeking up to 25-year sentence for Courtenay double murderer

Thompson said Simard killed his former partner Leanne Larocque, 42, in the head and her close male friend Gord Turner, 45, on Oct. 5, 2016 after he shot his way into Larocque’s home in Courtenay with an SKS semi-automatic rifle loaded with an oversized magazine and 10 rounds.

Simard was transported to hospital with a self-inflicted gunshot injury.

He noted “Mr. Simard was bent on taking revenge” when he found out that Larocque, his former girlfriend, was with another man and “killed in a jealous fury.”

Simard was previously arrested for mischief when he damaged Larocque’s home in April 2016, and had breached terms of his probation.

Thompson explained to the court the crime was “a depressingly familiar” situation where “the state of mind is so common in men when they commit violence on their intimate partners.”

He explained during sentencing considerations, he placed great weight on the fact that Simard “executed two people, and killed in a context of intimate partner violence,” and the fact that he breached conditions that were in place to protect Larocque from violence.

The sentence for the two-second degree charges will be served concurrently, and Simard will also be subjected to a firearms/ammunition prohibition for life as well a bodily sample must be provided to the National DNA Data Bank.

Outside the courthouse, the families of Larocque and Turner said they were happy to find some closure.

“We have had 53 days of court, and we are happy to have it come to a close today. Our lawyers were terrific. They got a good sentencing and the judge did an excellent job. We realize that we’re not in control (of the sentencing),” noted Turner’s mother Ruth.

Ron Kelly, Larocque’s father, said the families have to live with the decision the judge presented but added the sentence was the best it could be given the circumstances.

“I thought it was a good sentence, but I think the law’s got to change. I think they should be charged for murder twice – not once. I think the laws in Canada need to be changed for a situation like that.”

Carmen Peacey, Larocque’s sister, said she believes Simard is hurting for what he did to her sister and Turner. “He’s a human just like we all are, he’s going to be sorry and he’s going to reap what he’s done.”

She added now that the sentence has been handed down, she can begin the process of coping with the loss of her sibling.

“I haven’t dealt with this yet, so now I can.”



erin.haluschak@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

North Island Eagles minor rep ockey organization hand out year-end awards in Port McNeill

It was quite the season and then some for minor rep hockey here in the North Island.

North Island resident to campaign on climate, economy for Liberal Party seat in Ottawa

Peter Schwarzhoff joins race for the second time in North Island-Powell River riding

Press release: Port Alice Health Centre service model announced

“a sustainable and dependable model of health care service delivery in Port Alice is a priority”

First annual Pride Day coming to Port Hardy in August

Pride contributes to a more inclusive and safe community for LGBTQ+ identifying individuals.

Blaney plan helps seniors late with taxes

Simple solution to important issue: North Island-Powell River MP

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

Canadian killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Most Read