Cadotte trial: victim's family makes impact statements at sentencing

A Quebec Superior Court judge told family members of Jocelyne Lizotte that sentencing the man who killed her — her husband — will be one of the hardest decisions she's had to make.

Sentencing arguments were held today for Michel Cadotte, 57, found guilty two weeks ago of manslaughter in the death of Lizotte, his wife of 19 years, who was in the late stages of Alzheimer's in February 2017.

Cadotte smothered Lizotte, 60,  with a pillow, testifying that he was at the end of his rope after years of caring for her practically by himself.

The defence is suggesting a jail sentence of 6 to 12 months, factoring in the five months Cadotte spent in preventive custody.

The crown wants a prison sentence of eight years minus time in preventive custody.

One by one, members of Lizotte's family tearfully read out loud victim impact statements about the loss of their mother, their grandmother and their sister. 

They recounted how they are going through both physical and psychological pain, how they have nightmares of Lizotte being smothered by Cadotte and how this tragedy has torn apart their family.

Lizotte's two sons said Cadotte killed their mother not to end her suffering but to end his own suffering.

Family members also said that Cadotte was always impulsive and controlling and when he killed Lizotte, he acted for himself.

They said Lizotte should have died a normal, gentle death surrounded by loved ones.

His voice breaking, Cadotte took the stand, telling Lizotte's family that he was sorry, that he hoped they could forgive him one day and that he knows it's hard to understand.

In a rare display of emotion for a judge in court, Quebec Superior Court Justice Hélène Di Salvo wiped away tears as she told Lizotte's family that they and their testimonies touched her, that her decision will be one of the hardest she'll have to make and not everyone will agree with it.

Cadotte will learn his sentence on May 28.