the victim’s spouse testifies

Nadia Essiambre was in the room when Dominic and Cédric Larocque showed up in the apartment to start a fight. She told her version of the facts to the jury during this second week of the father-son duo’s murder trial.

The forty-year-old herself received several blows to the face during this fight, she said during her testimony on Wednesday.

Thanks to Ms. Essiambre, the jury was able to learn more about the conflict that existed between the Larocques and Manuel Paradis on the day of the murder.

Consumption

According to the witness, Nadia Essiambre and Manuel Paradis were consuming a lot of drugs and alcohol at the time of the events, in November 2022.

Her partner often became “paranoid” during periods of consumption. He wrongly believed that other men wanted to “stuff his girlfriend,” according to the witness’s words.

On the day of the murder, Manuel Paradis had consumed alcohol, marijuana, coke and methamphetamine. Two days earlier, he had spent a night in the hospital because the police had “taken him away”.

“It was really hot. […] Manuel thought he was the father [Dominic] who called the police on him. I knew it wasn’t him. I told him: “It’s the neighbors across the street who are tired of hearing you scream,” says Ms. Essiambre.

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Nadia Essiambre was met by investigators the day after the murder. She had head injuries. (SPVQ)

On November 1, Manuel Paradis got it into his head that Dominic Larocque had denounced him. As his partner did not believe him, he thought that the accused had slept with Ms. Essiambre.

In the afternoon, Manuel allegedly said to Dominic Larocque: “you want to poke my wife Caliss”, which would have started a “small” fight. Nadia says she intervened. Everyone then returned to their accommodation. This altercation allegedly prompted Manuel to call the police. The officers came, no one filed a complaint, so they left.

Fight

The two accused and another minor arrived at Manuel Paradis’ home shortly after the police left, around 9 p.m. The 32-year-old man died from his injuries.

Arriving at this part of her testimony, Nadia Essiambre finds it very difficult to express herself.

“The father came home. I got up to go help Manuel, I bit his head and fell on my back. I get up and I see the father give a blow, then I hit Cédric again, again on the head, with the same blunt object,” she explains with difficulty.

Mrs. Essiambre’s memories are blurry. She is clearly still shaken by the events. She does not remember the weapons used or the precise blows that were delivered. She said she saw “Manuel’s knees fail” and saw Dominic Larocque attack him.

According to her, Cédric Larocque gave her several blows on the head, so hard that she thought she would die. Nadia Essiambre’s injuries have also left scars on her forehead.

“I shouted: “help, call the police, Manuel is dead”. The old lady who stayed a little further away arrived, she said: “well, I knew this was going to happen.”

“I stayed with Manuel, I talked to him, I stroked his hair. I knew he was dead, but I didn’t want to leave him alone,” Nadia Essiambre also breathes.

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Dominic Larocque and Cédric Larocque (Quebec Police)

Cross-examination

Nadia Essiambre is the second person interviewed who allegedly witnessed the fatal fight. The first was a young man of 18, a minor at the time of the events, who would have accompanied the Larocques into the room.

The young man is not accused in the murder of Manuel Paradis. The Court prohibits us from revealing his identity, as well as the link which unites him to the two accused.

Under cross-examination, he said he did not see any weapons in the hands of Cédric and Dominic Larocque before entering the home. He also claims that the duo never mentioned intending to kill or harm Manuel Paradis in the moments before the fight.

At one point, Me Mathieu Giroux asked him if he had seen the Larocques “disarm” the victim.

“I couldn’t answer that question. Before you disarm someone, you have to be able to defend yourself. I think that on both sides, that’s what they wanted to do.”

Questioned about his possible intention to “protect” the accused, the young man wanted to justify himself. He assured the jury he was not in court to “take down or take up” the defendants. He said he was not on either side: he wanted to testify to simply tell the truth, regardless of the link that binds him to Dominic and Cédric Larocque.

On Thursday, the first police officers who arrived at the scene of the crime will be interviewed. The trial is scheduled for six weeks. Me Éva Bouchard represents father Larocque in defense, while the son is represented by Me Mathieu Giroux.

Me Mathieu Rochette and Me Jean-François Paré are leading the prosecution case.

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