Jury in Ugo Fredette trial wraps up Day 2 of deliberations with no verdict

MONTREAL – Jurors in Ugo Fredette’s double-murder trial wrapped up Day 2 of their deliberations Friday without reaching a veridct.

They will resume their deliberations 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the provincial courthouse in Sainte-Jerome.

On Thursday, the jury had asked to relisten to several pieces of testimony: some of Fredette's own, that of his couple’s therapist and testimony from a neighbour.

They also requested to rehear a phone call between the accused and his parents that took place one week after he was arrested.

The 44-year-old Quebec man was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the Sept. 14, 2017 slayings of his ex-wife Veronique Barbe, 41, and Yvon Lacasse, 71, a stranger he crossed paths with at a rest stop in Lachute, north of Montreal.

Fredette has admitted to causing their deaths, but testified that he snapped and didn't intend to kill anyone.

The 12 jurors, nine men and three women, were sequestered Wednesday after receiving their final instructions from Quebec Superior Court Justice Myriam Lachance. They began deliberating Thursday.

"Use logic and common sense," the judge instructed them. "You must not be swayed by public opinion."

Jurors have a range of possible verdicts, from first-degree murder to manslaughter. The trial began in late September with final arguments held last week.

The Crown has argued that Fredette killed her because he was unable to accept that Barbe wanted to put an end to the relationship and sell the family home.

The defence has maintained that Fredette snapped on the day of the killings, alleging Barbe came at him with a knife during a fight.

He testified that he fled the scene with a six-year-old boy and attacked Lacasse at a rest stop because he thought the man was trying to kidnap the child.

They got into a fight, he said, and the elderly man fell and struck his head. Fredette said he thought the man was dead.

Fredette was arrested on Sept. 15, 2017, in Ontario. He was reportedly spotted by residents across Quebec during his alleged run from authorities.

-- with files from The Canadian Press.