The motion for restitution of property was heard before Judge Frank D’Amours on Tuesday. Friday, Samuel Gauvin testified before the Court. The loss of this machine represents “serious damage” for the entrepreneur.
The human body of Santiago Gaona, 26, was found on September 17 on agricultural land in Quebec. Three suspects were quickly arrested after the investigation began.
François Bouchard, 31, was charged with first degree murder of the victim from Colombia. Cassandra Major, 31, and Jean-Philippe Lamontagne, 44, were charged with indignity to a dead body.
The human body was probably cut up by Samuel Gauvin’s machine and then burned by the accused trio.
Analyzing the heart of the debate
For the investigation, the shredder was dragged by the Quebec police and the Sûreté du Québec for various analyses. Its owner was not connected to the murder, according to authorities.
The lawyer of François Bouchard opposes the return of the property, the machine, because of a possible challenge to the analyses. According to him, the legal procedures are not enough in the case to determine that the property is no longer needed.
Biological fluids were indeed recovered from the machine, announced the prosecution lawyer, Me Jean-Simon Larouche. “The results of those assessments are not yet available because they are still in the laboratory. The machine has been cleaned. Even if my partner wanted to do assessments, it was impossible. The samples taken by the authorities will always be available for counter-expertise,” he explained to the judge.
Me Larouche did not object to handing over the property. The machine is now in the garage of the Quebec City Police Service (SPVQ) and is ready to be restored.
“The only skill left to do is to press the button to see if it works. I have difficulty understanding the position of my colleagues. If there is a murder in a house, we will not arrest the house during the construction procedures of expert reviews,” he said.
Significant financial loss
On Friday, Samuel Gauvin explained how the confiscation of his machine affected him. “I lost a gross income of $10,000 a week. I have to pay 2900 dollars per month for this machine which I continue to pay. I can no longer work, I have lost employees. Mentally, physically, it affects me,” he testified.
Buying the same machine would cost $130,000, the dealer estimated. Currently, his insurance will offer him a sum of $81,000.
François Bouchard’s lawyer disputes this damage. According to him, the evidence is not sufficient to show the loss of all the amounts mentioned by Mr. Gauvin. Despite this, Me Jean-Simon Larouche argues that the effects are clear to the owner.
“It seems brave of me to challenge the injury,” he said.
Judge Frank d’Amours decided to take some time to evaluate the case law in this case. He is expected to submit his decision next Thursday.