The two men responsible for the broad daylight assassination in Montreal of a prominent organized crime figure were found guilty of first degree murder by a jury on Wednesday. The criminal Frantz Louis had been shot six times in front of citizens in the fall of 2020, in the Villeray district.
“Guilty,” whispered the president of the jury, twice, thus sealing the fate of Emanuell Hunte Roberts and Andrew Thomas Labrèche, after two days of deliberation. Both men automatically receive life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years.
In the box, Andrew Thomas Labrèche seemed stunned following the verdict. Head tilted back, he stared at the ceiling for several seconds, as if he couldn’t believe it. The 25-year-old Montrealer was the driver of the getaway vehicle during the assassination of Frantz Louis. His accomplice, Emanuell Hunte Roberts, 24, was the shooter.
Frantz Louis, a major criminal, was shot dead in his vehicle on the morning of November 19, 2020, near the intersection of Fabre and Villeray streets, in the Villeray district of Montreal. Many civilian witnesses witnessed the scene, at least in part, including a woman who was only a few meters away at the time of the attack.
A witness even managed to partially memorize the license plate of the fugitives’ vehicle, allowing the police to arrest Andrew Thomas Labrèche the same day of the murder. His accomplice, however, was caught much later, in Toronto. Emanuell Hunte Roberts had left his fingerprints on the getaway vehicle.
The killers also left many traces of their crime, including particularly incriminating text messages. On the fateful morning, the assassin indeed texted his accomplice the “Villeray-Fabre” intersection, as well as the license plate number of the victim’s vehicle.
“The crucial evidence is the evidence of the phones. These are key elements that allowed us to identify Mr. Hunte. There is research that has been done on the murder, on Frantz Louis, after the murder. These are elements that weighed heavily in the balance, ”analyzed in the press scrum the Crown prosecutor, Me Philippe Vallières-Rolland, who wanted to salute the work of the defense lawyers.
“It’s been a long road. We are satisfied with the result. The police did a long investigation to arrest Mr. Hunte, “said Me Vallières-Rolland, who teamed up with Me Claude Berlinguette-Auger for the prosecution.
Me Matthew Shadley and Me Philippe Knerr defended Mr. Labrèche, while Me Morgane Laloum and Me Mathieu Rondeau-Poissant defended Mr. Hunte.
The relatives of the victim will be able to testify next Wednesday during the imposition of the sentence by judge Alexandre Boucher.