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

Studies for E&N corridor still on track after BC Transit investments

Recent investment in bus fleet expansion doesn’t slow studies into alternative transportation routes

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake

RCMP are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Officer: Women shouldn’t be afraid on Vancouver Island trails

Kris Greffard is posting short videos to show you how to stay safe

Editorial: New road could be key to future growth for Lake Cowichan

It could be a good way to increase the vibrancy of the community

Off-the-grid West Coast Trail restaurant Chez Monique featured on film

“The story we are trying to share is of the loving haven they created and sustained for decades.”

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

Port Hardy RCMP cleared in arrest that left man with broken ribs, punctured lung

The IIO noted the matter will not be referred to crown counsel for consideration of charges.

Nanaimo tubber sets all-time record at bathtub race

Justin Lofstrom completes course in fastest-ever time

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Most Read