The man charged in the murder of a 51-year-old man in Hanmer on July 12, 2020 has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.
Michael Marois, 51, was initially charged with first-degree murder in the death of Michael Young, but the charge was reduced to second-degree murder.
Marois pleaded guilty via CCTV from Sudbury Jail on March 12, with his lawyer, Robert Beckett, joining over Zoom, and was convicted by Superior Court Justice Alex Kurke.
Sentencing will take place May 25. A pre-sentence report has been ordered and is expected in May.
Court heard the shooting took place in a domestic violence context after Marois read messages between his girlfriend and Young, her ex, that he considered “flirtatious.”
Marois became upset over the messages and confronted his girlfriend. He was familiar with Young, both having attended the same high school.
He found out where Young lived in Hanmer, and shortly before the shooting, Marois sent text messages to his girlfriend with a photo of Young’s garden from social media posts, telling her it took only seconds to find out where he lived.
He then attended Young’s home, and it was noted his intention was to just drive by the residence, however, he became upset after he saw a social gathering outside that included his girlfriend, Young and others.
After seeing his girlfriend with Young, he said he “just snapped.”
He confronted Young, and a brief fight took place. It was broken up others at the gathering, but Marois proceeded to yell at Young, saying “I’m going to fucking kill you. Mike, you’re a dead man.”
His girlfriend told him to leave, and that if he didn’t, she would call the police.
Marois continued to yell at Young that he was a “dead man,” as well as shouting profanities at his girlfriend.
Marois then left, drove home, and then, at about 7 p.m., he returned to where his girlfriend and Young were on Rita Street, this time with a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun.
He pointed the firearm at Young and shot five times, and the only reason he stopped firing is because he ran out of ammunition.
“The audio of the shots was captured, and police obtained video surveillance of those shots,” said assistant Crown attorney Lindsey Santerre. “They were quick in succession, and they were fatal.”
Young fell to the ground, and witnesses started to perform CPR.
Marois returned to his vehicle to get a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, pointed it in the direction of the witnesses and Young, but was tackled by his girlfriend. During the struggle, the shotgun was discharged, “narrowly” striking Marois in the eye region.
Marois’ lawyer told the court, with respect to the 12-gauge shotgun, he was trying to harm himself, and Marois agreed.
Both firearms were legally registered in Marois’ name.
The shotgun was taken away, and the witnesses were able to temporarily subdue Marois. However, he managed to break free, ran to his vehicle and retrieved a folding knife and proceeded to slice his neck.
Witnesses again were able to subdue him and take away the knife. They were able to hold him until police arrived.
Young was taken by ambulance to Health Sciences North, but succumbed to his injuries en route to the hospital. Upon arrival, he was pronounced dead. A post-mortem concluded the cause of death was a single gunshot wound that had entered the body through the right arm and travelled to the chest, puncturing vital organs.
Marois was arrested at 7:38 p.m. He told a paramedic that he had caught his girlfriend with a male and he shot that person.
Marois was also taken to HSN and treated for his injuries.
A more detailed report of the facts will be read during sentencing, as well as victim impact statements.
The remaining charges - three counts of possession of a weapon, two counts of careless use of a firearm, using a firearm while committing an offence, two counts of pointing a firearm and discharging a firearm with intent - will remain until May 25, when the Crown is expected to withdraw those charges.
Sentencing will start at 10 a.m. and is expected to last a full day.