Two men detained for two years for the murder of a Lanaudière criminal whose body was never found have been released from prison, they who were acquitted yesterday by a jury of the charges against them at the end of their trial .
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Jonathan Provencher, 43, and Alfredo Farinas Rodriguez, 26, are both not guilty of conspiracy and the murder of Simon Dufresne, a jury ruled in the afternoon at the Joliette courthouse.
Respectively residents of Deux-Montagnes and Saint-François-du-Lac, these two men, as well as three other suspects, were handcuffed in May 2020.
"It's a relief for my client to no longer have to carry that weight after 28 months [incarcerated]. He left to cry when he left the courthouse, it's a lot of emotions, "said the Journal Me Patrick Davis, who represented Jonathan Provencher.
Me Valérie La Madeleine represented the second accused, Alfredo Farinas Rodriguez.
The 31-year-old victim disappeared in February 2019, in Rawdon. His disappearance had been reported to the authorities only three months later.
To date, his body remains untraceable, but the Sûreté du Québec has been treating the case as a murder since almost the start of the investigation.
Dufresne was known in particular for his links with organized crime and sold drugs before his death. It is a debt of money which would be at the origin of his murder, according to our information.
He also has a heavy criminal past. He had been sentenced to 52 months in prison for the manslaughter of Anthony Bibeau.
According to Mr. Davis, it was the testimony of a Crown witness during the trial that raised doubts among the jury that a third party suspect could instead be the perpetrator of the murder in this case. This person is not currently facing charges, the lawyer said.
As for the three other men who were also pinned down by the SQ in May 2020, they must stand trial this fall.
Jonathan Tshinkenke, 22, of Montreal, is charged with conspiracy, complicity in murder and forcible confinement. Yvon Camirand, 57, of Saint-Calixte, faces only one charge of complicity in murder.
For his part, Stéphane Larouche, also a resident of Saint-Calixte, is accused of complicity in murder and kidnapping. The 49-year-old man is the only one who was released under certain conditions last May, pending trial.