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

Vancouver 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

Qualicum Beach man arrested over racist incident at Tseshaht First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP said the man turned himself in

B.C. Ferries says Departure Bay-Horseshoe Bay sailings filling up fast

Tsawwassen-Duke Point may be a better alternative between June 4 and 7, says ferry corporation

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Vancouver Islanders gathering to rally for Black lives

‘To speak up, all you need is a voice and the will to be heard’

VIDEO: View Royal resident spots cougar in nearby backyard

B.C. Conservation notified about early Thursday morning sighting

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

No lifeguards this summer for some popular Island swimming spots, no swimming at all for others

Fears of risk to health and safety during COVID-19 pandemic partly to blame

No architect for Langford building ruled ‘unreasonable’ by B.C. Supreme Court

Legal action brought against City in 2019 for permit issued on Hoffman Avenue building

Number of property sales down by 40 per cent when compared to last year

Value of single-family home, condominium in Victoria up from last year despite pandemic

3 people found violating court imposed curfews in Cowichan

People are placed on curfews for a variety of public safety reasons.

Chilliwack dad rescues two young daughters after truck plunges into lake

“I used every single one of my angels that day,” said Dennis Saulnier

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Most Read