Michel Cadotte, accused of murder in the 2017 death of his ailing wife, returns to the courtroom to testify in Montreal on Friday, February 1, 2019.
Paul Chiasson / THE CANADIAN PRESS
Michel Cadotte, the Montreal man who killed his ailing wife in what he argued was a compassion killing, has received a two-year prison sentence.A jury had found Cadotte, 58, guilty of manslaughter in February. He had been charged with second-degree murder after admitting to suffocating his wife of 19 years, Jocelyne Lizotte, at her long-term care facility in 2017.Justice Hélène Di Salvo delivered the sentence at the Montreal courthouse Tuesday. Di Salvo gave Cadotte a sentence of two years and 204 days in prison. Given the time he has already spent detained, he will have two years, minus one day, left to serve.In March, after hearing testimony from the couple’s family members, Di Salvo said she believed deciding Cadotte’s sentence would be one of the most difficult tasks of her career.“I know not everyone will agree with the decision I make,” Di Salvo had said of the sentence, herself in tears after hearing statements from both families. “I would like to not be this emotional, but there isn’t a person on this planet who wouldn’t be touched by this story.”Lizotte, 60, had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for nearly a decade. Cadotte has maintained he wanted her to stop suffering and killed her out of compassion. A medical aid in dying request he made on her behalf the previous year was denied, since Lizotte couldn’t consent to it and wasn’t considered at the end of her life.The defence had described Cadotte as an exhausted caregiver, broken down by a decade of helplessly witnessing his wife deteriorate. It argued he should receive a prison sentence of anywhere between six and 12 months, leaving him with little prison time left to serve after considering the pre-trial detention he served.The Crown argued for an eight-year prison term.During sentencing arguments, several members of Lizotte’s family spoke of heartbreak, shock, betrayal and how divided the family has become as a result of Cadotte’s actions.“I can understand the act, I can forgive it without accepting it, but I can’t forgive him for destroying my family, his family,” Lizotte’s son, David Désautels, had told the judge.Cadotte had also taken the stand, addressing the judge as much as the family members sitting in the room.“When I married Jocelyne, it was for better or for worse. I lived her better, I lived her worst,” he said. “I know it’s hard to forgive and hard to understand. I will never forget it. I don’t feel good in my skin. I’m trying to live with it. I miss her so much.”This story will be updated. firstname.lastname@example.orgTwitter.com/jessefeithRelated