Two men have been arrested and charged three counts of first-degree murder in the fatal April 11 house fire on Bruce Avenue, said Greater Sudbury Police Service.
Jared Herrick, 34, and Phillippe Jeannotte, 34, were arrested April 27 and charged with three counts of first-degree murder, as well as one count each of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, arson - disregard for human life, break, enter and commit, and possession of an incendiary device.
Although two people were previously charged in relation to the fire (detailed below), they were charged with being "a party" to the crime.
Under the Criminal Code of Canada, a charge of being “party to” an offence can be laid against those who aids or abets “any person in committing an offence” and are considered to be “a party to that offence.” Under the code, “abetting could mean encouraging, instigating, promoting or procuring a crime to be committed, and must be done during the actual commission of the offence.”
The charges against Herrick and Jeannotte allege they are directly to blame for the incident.
Herrick attended bail court on April 28, while Jeannotte attended bail court today to answer to the charges.
The two were not the only people arrested in relation to the fire.
The first person arrested, Liam Stinson, was taken into custody April 20 and charged with three counts of Party to the Offence of First Degree Murder, and one count each of Party to the Offence of Attempt Murder, Conspiracy to Commit Murder and Party to an Offence of Arson - Disregard for Human Life.
On April 24, a second person was arrested and identified as 48-year-old Fernand Bolduc. He has been charged with three counts of being party to first-degree murder, one count of being party to an attempted murder, one count of conspiracy to commit murder and one count of being party to an arson with disregard for human life.
Greater Sudbury Fire Services said firefighters responded to a 911 call with reports of fire and smoke from one of seven units in a row house on Bruce Avenue on April 11.
Five city fire crews were dispatched to the call. Firefighters performed an initial search of the unit, Deputy Chief Jesse Oshell told Sudbury.com. Two people were declared dead at the scene, a 50-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman, while another person, a 33-year-old woman, was evacuated from the home with life-threatening injuries.
She was airlifted to Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, where she died April 16.
A fourth person, a 37-year-old man, had jumped from the second-floor window prior to the arrival of firefighters, said Oshell. He was also transported to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
“We were able to contain the fire to just the one unit, but there is smoke and water damage to adjacent units,” Oshell said
The fire displaced 12 people from seven units. The Canadian Red Cross and Greater Sudbury Housing helped with temporary accommodations for those affected.
“This is an ongoing investigation, and we are actively seeking information in relation to additional individuals who are believed to be involved in this incident,” said GSPS in a news release.