North Bay man found guilty of 1980 murder, eligible for parole after 15 years

The man charged 40 years after the brutal murder of a North Bay woman in her home has been convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

Roger Deschenes will be 78 years old when he becomes eligible for parole for killing Micheline St. Amour in her East Ferris home on July 10, 1980.

He was originally charged Nov. 18, 2020, with first-degree murder, however was found guilty of the lesser charge of second-degree murder last month, the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General confirmed to CTV News. The first-degree murder charge was withdrawn and no pretrial custody was credited.

St. Amour was 20 years old when she was stabbed to death in her bedroom, leaving behind a husband and two-year-old daughter.

Ontario Provincial Police credited advances in DNA technology with helping catch her killer.

"The day you look forward to as a criminal investigator is being able to tell a family what happened to their loved one," said OPP Det. Insp. Kurtis Fredericks.

"There is no closure to a family that loses a family member this way, but there is a sense of resolution and having answers to questions they’ve had for years about the loss of their loved one."