Maxi murder trial off to slow start

The first degree murder trial of a 21-year-old man accused of killing a sales clerk at the St. Michel Maxi supermarket last year got off to a slow start this morning.

Randy Tshilumba is accused of fatally stabbing Clémence Beaulieu-Patry, 20, while she was working in April 2016 at the supermarket on Papineau near Crémazie.

The crown prosecutor was absent due to a back problem and will only deliver her opening statement on Friday when the first witnesses will also testify.

So as not to waste the entire day, Quebec Superior Court Justice Hélène Di Salvo took the opportunity to deliver her directives to the jury.

The five week trial will now be heard by a jury of seven men and five women: Juror Number Two had to be exempt for personal reasons. One of the alternate jurors took his place while the remaining substitute was dismissed.

Tshilumba, wearing a pale blue shirt buttoned up to the neck, remained impassive during the judge's hour-long instructions.

The crown, represented by prosecutor Catherine Perreault,  will call almost 30 witnesses to the stand.

Tshilumba is represented by Sébastien Chartrand and Philippe Larochelle.