Justin Bourque to serve 75 years before parole eligibility for RCMP killings

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Justin Bourque has been sentenced to serve 75 years in prison before he can apply for parole for the June 4 shooting rampage that killed three RCMP officers and wounded two others in Moncton.

MONCTON, N.B. – Justin Bourque has been sentenced to serve 75 years in prison before he can apply for parole for the June 4 shooting rampage that killed three RCMP officers and wounded two others in Moncton.

Judge David Smith of the Court of Queen's Bench in New Brunswick delivered his precedent-setting ruling Friday after a sentencing hearing earlier this week during which Bourque apologized to the families of the Mounties he shot.

“This has been difficult for everyone,'' Smith said. “The crime committed is one of the worst in Canadian history.''

Bourque's sentence is the harshest in Canada since the last executions in 1962.

He pleaded guilty in August to three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.

Bourque, 24, faced a mandatory life sentence, so the only issue for Smith to decide was when he could apply for parole.

The Crown sought the maximum sentence of 75 years under a section of the Criminal Code that was amended in 2011, arguing that Bourque's crimes were among the most heinous this country has seen and they warranted a sentence that would give precedence over rehabilitation.

The defence argued for parole eligibility to be set at 50 years.

Assistant commissioner Roger Brown, the commanding officer of the RCMP in New Brunswick, said he doesn't know if there will ever be a point when the emotional scars from the shooting will fully heal.

“It's like any tragedy. People say that time heals, but that's subjective,'' Brown said outside the courthouse.

“I just hope and pray that nobody in my position or no other police officers will have to live through this again.''

At his sentencing hearing, a videotaped statement Bourque gave to police after his arrest was entered as evidence. In it, Bourque explains that he wanted to encourage people to rise up against the “soldiers'' that defend federal institutions and protect the rich from the poor.

He muses about his strict Catholic upbringing, climate change, evolution, social engineering, class warfare, tyrants, something called the “black curtain'' and threats posed by the Russians and the Chinese.

“I know this is going to sound pretty messed up, but I felt pretty accomplished,'' he told police.

An agreed statement of facts previously filed with the court says Bourque's actions were both “planned and deliberate'' when he used a Poly Technologies M305, 308-calibre semi-automatic rifle to kill constables Dave Ross, 32, Fabrice Gevaudan, 45, and Douglas Larche, 40. Constables Eric Dubois and Darlene Goguen were also injured in the shootings.

A 28-hour manhunt for Bourque left much of Moncton paralyzed until his arrest just after midnight on June 6.

The amended Criminal Code provision that factored into Bourque's sentencing has been used only once before. In September 2013, a judge in Edmonton sentenced an armoured-car guard to life in prison with no chance at parole for 40 years for gunning down four of his colleagues during a robbery in June 2012.

Travis Baumgartner had pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and a charge of attempted murder.


Organizations: RCMP, Queen's

Geographic location: MONCTON, New Brunswick, Canada Edmonton

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Recent comments

  • david
    November 02, 2014 - 03:35

    Not exactly the smartest sentence handed out. he should have had parole eligibility after 40 or 50 years. Giving someone sentence like slams the door completely on them and gives them no hope. Now should he ever escape can pretty much do whatever he wants because he knows he has no hope anyways. Of course the police like these sentences because the police think everyone except them should be controlled 24/7. This guy now is major problem no reason to even attempt to reform or change himself and no limit should he ever escape or an reason not to work on escaping. These life sentences with no hop of ever getting out are not smart.

  • John Malone
    October 31, 2014 - 23:24

    Great. He should never walk the streets again.

  • enough already
    October 31, 2014 - 20:17

    Valley Sue is anything ever the responsibility of the perpetrators or is it always societies fault? Do you not believe there are evil people in this world?

    • Dave
      November 01, 2014 - 16:15

      I don't think he is evil. In his statement to police he showed very clear signs of mental illness. He was rambling about crazy things. Not even close t enough to not be fit to stand trial, but not evil either.

  • don
    October 31, 2014 - 16:17

    defence argued for parole eligibility to be set at 50 years. how disgusting can a lawyer get tell me can the 3 men he murdered in a cowards way get out of the grave in 50 years? to me he should have gotten 75 years for each murder and 25 years for attempted murder. so life and a day. he walks in and is carried out.

    • Bill Kays
      Bill Kays
      October 31, 2014 - 17:00

      Did you want to hang him too, Don, because it sounds to me like you are angry? Angry people make bad choices and bad decisions. Perhaps the judge knows best.

    • In other words
      October 31, 2014 - 17:58

      In other words the defense did their job. You seem to be getting less literate every single post don. You really should get some lessons in writing. Perhaps a grade 3 refresher course.

  • Valley Sue
    October 31, 2014 - 15:35

    What we need are the social tools and structures the identify th next Justin Bourque BEFORE he/she buys the gun and loads it. mental health and addiuction services need to be better funded and people need to seek help for loved ones before the tragedies like this happen.

    • country boy
      October 31, 2014 - 16:52

      Yes, wouldn't that be wonderful. Now tell a realist how this can be done.

    • Bill Kays
      Bill Kays
      October 31, 2014 - 17:08

      So, Valley Sue, you want to bring in the "thought police" eh? Bad idea. You sound like a psychologist or such. There are enough laws on the books now, to deal with all of this stuff. So we do not need more laws, only better enforcement, or people with the political will to make real change.

  • same story
    October 31, 2014 - 14:54

    Before Stephen Harper , Canada's greatest Prime Minister the max for this man would have been 25 years . Those cop killer's in Moncton who made the men dig their own graves in the early seventies were on the streets years ago.

    • brainless
      October 31, 2014 - 20:03

      brainless. Just brainless.