Accused strangled his girlfriend who was breaking up with him: trial prosecutor

A young man strangled his teen girlfriend who was breaking up with him four years ago, maintains the crown prosecutor in his trial.

Jonathan Mahautière, now 22, is being tried on a charge of second degree murder in the death of Gabrielle Dufresne-Élie, 17.

In his opening statement before the 8 man-4 woman jury, crown prosecutor Éric de Champlain said they intend to prove that Mahautière strangled Dufresne-Élie on June 7, 2014.

de Champlain also said that her death was not at issue but rather the intent of the accused.

The prosecutor said things were not going well between Dufresne-Élie and Mahautière and that she was ending their 2 1/2 year-old relationship - "they didn't love each other the same way anymore."

de Champlain said Dufresne-Élie was graduating and Mahautière had planned supper and a movie with her.

The prosecutor said that Mahautière also set up an appointment for them to see a couples therapist but that Dufresne-Élie did not attend and the accused ended up going by himself.

de Champlain said the two went together to the Motel Chablis where Mahautière rented a room for four hours. The prosecutor said that's where Mahautière strangled her.

It was Mahautière who called 911 from a payphone at a nearby depanneur, said de Champlain.

de Champlain said his witnesses will include the couples therapist, the victim's mother and her two sisters.

The trial is expected to last five weeks and is being presided by judge Sophie Bourque.

Mahautière is represented by lawyer Marie-Hélène Giroux.