MONTREAL – Lighting technician Denis Blanchette was shot through the heart the night of the 2012 Parti Quebecois election victory, a forensic pathologist told Richard Henry Bain’s first-degree murder trial Wednesday.
The bullet entered the right side of his chest and also pierced both lungs before exiting through the left side of Blanchette’s thorax, Andre Bourgault told the 14 jurors.
Bain, 65, is on trial in Blanchette’s death but also faces three counts of attempted murder, including one involving stagehand David Courage, who was struck by the same bullet.
Crown prosecutor Dennis Galiatsatos alleges Bain also tried to murder other stagehands who were outside at the back of a nightclub along with Blanchette and Courage, but that his assault rifle jammed.
Premier-designate Pauline Marois was inside the venue giving her victory speech when Bain allegedly started shooting.
Galiatsatos has said that moments after the shooting, as people were running from the scene, Bain approached a staircase leading to the back door of the venue and took the gasoline canister he was carrying and poured the liquid onto the landing.
Bain then allegedly threw two road flares onto the staircase, causing a fire that melted part of the back door as hundreds of people were inside listening to Marois.
Crown witness Rene Fournier, a crime laboratory chemist since 1998, said Wednesday he found traces of gasoline on items of clothing Bain was allegedly wearing that night.
Arson expert Yvan Robert, the next witness to testify, told the court it was “obvious” that the fire was set deliberately.
“With all the elements found at the scene this was arson,” Robert, a Quebec provincial police sergeant, told the jurors.
Aside from the murder-related charges, Bain is also facing two fire-related counts.
Earlier in the day, Montreal police Sgt.-Det. Marc-Andre Dube testified that 22 firearms had been registered to Bain, including 18 rifles and three handguns.
Bain was legally entitled to possess all 22, Dube testified.
Galiatsatos said he hopes to finish calling witnesses on Thursday, after which the trial will take a short break and resume with arguments from Bain’s lawyer, Alan Guttman.