Killer has no chance of parole for 11 years
22-year-old convicted of manslaughter after strangling girlfriend in June 2014
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."