The assassination in the middle of the street of an important figure of the underworld has been solved in part thanks to the presence of many witnesses at the house due to the pandemic confinement. The murder of Frantz Louis, shot six times in his vehicle, was committed under the gaze of a citizen.

This is what the Crown prosecutor, Me Philippe Vallières-Rolland, told the jury on Wednesday morning at the opening of the trial of Emanuell Hunte Roberts and Andrew Thomas Labrèche at the Montreal courthouse.

Both men are charged with the first degree murder of Frantz Louis, described by the Crown as a “significant figure” in crime in Montreal. According to the prosecution theory, Emanuell Hunte Roberts fired on the victim, while his accomplice Andrew Thomas Labrèche was driving the getaway vehicle.

The assassination took place on the morning of November 19, 2020, near the intersection of Fabre and Villeray streets, in the Villeray district of Montreal. The suit alleges the shooter exited a vehicle driven by his accomplice, walked across the street, then fired six bullets at Frantz Louis, who was sitting in his car.

“After firing, Hunte took to his heels. He quickly entered the vehicle, leaving fingerprints. This error allowed the investigators to trace him, “explained in his opening statement Me Vallières-Rolland, who teams up with Me Claude Berlinguette-Auger.

But it was without counting on the vigilance of the citizens, many of whom witnessed the escape of the accused. A witness managed to memorize five of the six symbols on the license plate of the getaway vehicle. The police were thus able to arrest Andrew Thomas Labrèche the same day of the murder, said Me Vallières-Rolland.

“Since the murder was committed during the pandemic, several people were working from home. This is why there were many witnesses. A young woman saw the murder happen in front of her own eyes, a few feet from her, as she drove on Fabre. She will tell you about this shocking experience,” the prosecutor announced.

The prosecution intends to prove that the two accused met in Châteauguay, three days before the murder, in order to plan their crime. Then, on the fateful morning, Hunte texted his accomplice about the “Villeray-Fabre” intersection and the license plate number of the victim’s vehicle.

“The hunt was on,” illustrated Me Vallières-Rolland. Surveillance videos that will be presented to the jury show Labrèche’s vehicle crossing the Fabre-Villeray intersection, just minutes before the murder. We then see the vehicle return to the same place after the crime. They then burned a stop in front of witnesses.

According to the Crown, shortly after the murder, Emanuell Hunte Roberts searched the internet for the names of the victim and his alleged accomplice, as well as information about a shooting in Montreal. Emanuell Hunte Roberts also had an article about Frantz Louis on his device, the prosecution intends to prove.

The trial is scheduled for three weeks before Judge Alexandre Boucher. Me Matthew Shadley and Me Philippe Knerr defend Labrèche, while Me Morgane Laloum and Me Mathieu Rondeau-Poissant defend Hunte.