Court rules Quebec man sentenced for ordering killings can apply for parole earlier

·1 min read

MONTREAL — The Quebec Court of Appeal has cut a decade from the time a man convicted of ordering a series of killings must serve before being eligible for parole.

Benjamin Hudon-Barbeau was handed a life sentence with no chance of parole for 35 years in November 2018 after a jury convicted him of first-degree murder, second-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.

At the time, prosecutors said it was the first time consecutive sentences had been imposed in Quebec since the law was changed in 2011 to allow for them.

Last year, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that such stacked sentences for multiple murders were unconstitutional, restoring the longest period before parole eligibility to 25 years.

In a decision Tuesday, the Quebec Court of Appeal dismissed Hudon-Barbeau's appeal of the verdicts but agreed he should be able to apply for parole after 25 years.

Hudon-Barbeau made headlines in 2013 when he orchestrated a prison escape by helicopter before being arrested a short time later and receiving a 16-year sentence for the escape.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2023.

The Canadian Press