Killer has no chance of pa­role for 11 years

22-year-old con­victed of man­slaugh­ter af­ter stran­gling girl­friend in June 2014

Montreal Gazette - - CITY + REGION -

A 22-year-old man con­victed last month of the 2014 sec­ond-de­gree mur­der of his girl­friend was sen­tenced on Fri­day to life in prison with no pos­si­bil­ity of pa­role for 11 years. Jonathan Ma­hau­tière, 22, was charged with sec­ond-de­gree mur­der in the stran­gu­la­tion of Gabrielle Dufresne-Élie, who tried to end their re­la­tion­ship on June 7, 2014. That day, the cou­ple at­tended a ther­apy ses­sion dur­ing which Dufresne-Élie re­vealed she wanted to break up with him. How­ever, she later had sex with Ma­hau­tière at a Mon­treal mo­tel, where he killed her, the jury was told. While in fi­nal ar­gu­ments, the de­fence had urged the jury to find Ma­hau­tière ei­ther not crim­i­nally re­spon­si­ble or guilty of man­slaugh­ter. But on Nov. 4, the eight-man, four-woman jury re­turned a ver­dict of guilty of sec­ond-de­gree mur­der. In her vic­tim-im­pact state­ment, Dufresne-Élie’s twin sis­ter Chloé said she had lost for­ever “a part of my­self on the night of June 7, 2014 . ... Still now, I don’t un­der­stand why. I have to live with­out her, with­out her pres­ence, and it’s un­real. Like a night­mare from which you never wake.” The fam­ily had to move be­cause Chloé could no longer sleep in the room the sis­ters once shared, Dufresne-Élie’s mother wrote. Four years later, the mother is still see­ing a psy­chi­a­trist and psy­chol­o­gist “in an at­tempt to make sense of the un­real and re­learn how to live un­der cir­cum­stances ... that leave per­ma­nent scars.” On the night of the mur­der, a po­lice of­fi­cer showed her a pic­ture on a tele­phone of the face of her daugh­ter, “ask­ing me if it was her, telling me she had not sur­vived,” she wrote. “This face so un­rec­og­niz­able that I could not ad­mit it was Gabrielle. But it was her. A that mo­ment, my whole be­ing ex­pe­ri­enced a tear­ing apart that is im­pos­si­ble to close. My life lost all sense . ... “This ver­dict ar­rived on the day be­fore my birth­day. I can only be­lieve it’s a sign from Gabrielle, and it’s the most beau­ti­ful gift I could re­ceive. I can now be­gin my griev­ing."

Gabrielle Dufresne-Élie

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