Son charged in Quebec mother's death after she asked in vain for police help with him

Jean-Luc Ferland is arrested. Photo/Eric Beaupre

The 32-year-old son of a Drummondville, Que. mother who was killed is now facing second-degree murder charges.

Suzanne Desjardins, 57, was fatally injured at home after seeking help from provincial police with a psychiatrically troubled son and not receiving it, said a news release from Quebec's police watchdog.

Jean-Luc Ferland made a brief appearance at the Drummondville courthouse Tuesday to face the charge.

The BEI, Quebec's office tasked with investigating deaths and serious injuries linked to police actions, had launched a probe into her death, the second investigation started by the agency in two days.

On Sunday at around 1:30 p.m., Desjardins went to the provincial police station in Drummondville to ask for help, said the agency.

She wanted "the assistance of the police in order to force her son, who has been living with her for the past few weeks, to undergo a psychiatric assessment," said the release.

Police couldn't assist her in her request "immediately," said the BEI, so she went back to work.

Monday at around 9:30 a.m., someone reportedly contacted provincial police to check on the health of a loved one since he was not able to reach her.

"When they arrived at the scene, the police allegedly discovered Desjardins seriously injured inside her residence," said the BEI.

She was taken to hospital and was pronounced dead.

Crown prosecutor Kevin Mailhiot said Ferland's next appearance is on Aug. 14. Ferland remains in detention until then

SECOND INVESTIGATION IN TWO DAYS

On Saturday, the office announced it had launched another investigation into a 33-year-old man's death in Sherbrooke after he was pepper-sprayed by police.

No further details could be provided on that case, a BEI spokesperson said Monday.

Sherbrooke police told CTV that they're also unable to comment on any other details of the incident.

However, they said that the police officers involved will continue their normal duties while the investigation continues.

"The [Sherbrooke police] leadership has no information suggesting that a fault has been committed, so they remain in their full function," they said. 

- With files from The Canadian Press

SIGN UP NOW

Stay up-to-date and in-the-know by subscribing to one of our newsletters