Montreal Gazette

Accused stabbed torture victim, trial hears

- PAUL CHERRY pcherry@postmedia.com

A 27-year-old man was offered a last meal as he was tortured and forced to drink a flammable liquid before he died in Lachine more than two years ago, a Crown prosecutor said at the start of Véronique Manceaux's first-degree murder trial.

“(Jimmy Méthot's) last words (while trying to flee from the residence where he was killed) were: `I don't want to die like this,'” prosecutor Jasmine Guillaume told a jury at the Montreal courthouse on Monday.

Méthot was killed on Sept. 6 or 7, 2021, inside Manceaux's home in Lachine.

Guillaume said Manceaux, 38, and Méthot knew each other and other people were at her residence that day, including Manceaux's close friend Tara Kusic, 31, a 17-year-old and Everette Roger Clayton, a Lachine resident who recently died.

Guillaume said that at some point, Manceaux and Méthot began to argue.

“The conflict escalated and Véronique Manceaux yelled and hit the victim. The victim was also struck by (the 17-year-old male),” the prosecutor said. Méthot tried to flee, but the minor, whose name cannot be published, stopped him at the entrance to the house and brought him back to the living room, “where they offered him his last meal,” Guillaume said.

The victim tried to flee again before Manceaux grabbed him and stabbed him, and then returned him to her living room, Guillaume said. Méthot was then forced to drink the flammable liquid.

“Jimmy Méthot was in agony before he died on the floor of the living room,” the prosecutor said. “His body was wrapped in drapes and transporte­d to the garage by Véronique Manceaux and her accomplice.”

Manceaux is also charged with causing an indignity to Méthot's body.

The first witness to testify Monday was Sara-eve Royal, a Montreal police officer who received an unusual call at Station 8 in Lachine. Kelly O'shea, 45, called to say the police could find Méthot's body in the basement of a house on Rathwell St.

O'shea then testified, telling the jury she met Kusic in 2021 and she and her boyfriend invited Kusic to join them at a campsite in Ontario on Labour Day weekend. O'shea said Kusic brought Méthot with her and the evening was uneventful. She said Kusic and Méthot left hours later in Kusic's vehicle.

The next time she saw Kusic, O'shea said, was a few days later and she “seemed to be in some trouble.”

She said Kusic showed up at her home, accompanie­d by Manceaux. The witness said she had never met Manceaux previously but had heard through other people that she consumed crack cocaine.

“The interactio­n between Tara and Véronique had been very weird since they arrived. Véronique seemed to want to go. She was telling Tara that she was obligated to come back to (Manceaux's) house and clean up the mess. I didn't really get what was going on at that point,” O'shea said. “It was very nerve-racking. Clearly, Tara did not want to go with her.”

O'shea said Manceaux left after trying to force Kusic into a car. She added that Manceaux returned to O'shea's home the following day and “burst into” her house, grabbed Kusic's purse and took a photo of Kusic's driver's licence before she left.

 ?? ?? Jimmy Méthot
Jimmy Méthot

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