Accused of killing ailing wife, Michel Cadotte takes stand in his own defence

A 57-year-old Montreal North man has begun testifying in his own defence at his trial on charges of murdering his wife who was in the last stages of Alzheimer's nearly two years ago.

Michel Cadotte is charged with second degree murder in the death of Jocelyne Lizotte, 60. 

The crown has presented evidence that Cadotte smothered her with a pillow on February 20, 2017 - a year after officials refused his request for medically-assisted dying for Lizotte.

Cadotte testified that he and Lizotte discussed getting an incapacity mandate when they were married in the late 90s and that it was certified in 2014.

Cadotte testified about how Lizotte was placed at the Royal Victoria Hospital and the Douglas Institute in 2013 before ending up at the Émilie-Gamelin CHSLD long-term care home a year later. That's where she died in 2017.

Cadotte testified that it went well in the beginning but degenerated over the weeks because Lizotte became more heavily medicated and was tied to her chair more often.

Cadotte testified the Royal Vic wasn't equipped and staff weren't trained to deal with Alzheimer's patients- he said it took three or four orderlies to give her daily baths and that Lizotte ended up black and blue all over.

Cadotte said Lizotte could no longer walk or eat by herself.

Cadotte testified Lizotte was transferred to the Douglas at one point and that she was more calm there - that she was able to walk and eat a little by herself, though she trembled a lot due to the strong doses of meds.

Cadotte said that during this time, he was also having employment problems - he was on a leave from work but was told he had to return or lose his job. Cadotte said he had to accept a salary decrease when he went back.

Cadotte testified that Lizotte returned to the Royal Vic after a few months because the maximum stay at the Douglas was three months. Cadotte said the care remained the same.

Cadotte said he filed a complaint with the hospital ombudsman about his wife's treatment in November 2013 and only got a response in 2015, just before the Royal Victoria moved to the Glen Yards campus.