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Quebec’s Court of Appeal has unanimously rejected child-killer Guy Turcotte’s bid to reduce the number of years he must serve in prison before being eligible for parole.

In a ruling released Thursday, the court upheld the parole eligibility ruling in the case of the former cardiologist who murdered his two children.

Turcotte was found guilty in 2015 of second-degree murder and later sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 17 years by Quebec Superior Court Justice Andre Vincent.

He fatally stabbed his three-year-old daughter Anne-Sophie and five-year-old son Olivier a total of 46 times in February 2009.

He was found not criminally responsible at his first trial and was sent to a psychiatric hospital in Montreal and released in December 2012.

An appeals court overturned that verdict and Turcotte had to stand trial again, where he was found guilty.

The Crown contended during the 2015 trial that Turcotte killed his children as an act of vengeance against his then-estranged wife, Isabelle Gaston, because she was having an affair with one of his friends and because he could not handle the notion of being replaced by another man in their lives.

Defence lawyers said Turcotte was suicidal at the time and drank windshield washer fluid to kill himself. They argued that when he felt he was dying, he decided to take his children with him so they would not have to discover his body.

Turcotte’s lawyers had argued the sentencing judge didn’t take their client’s mental state into account in the decision and had sought to reduce the amount of time he had to serve before applying for release.

In a ruling written by Justice Allan J. Hilton, he noted that appellate courts are rarely required to rule on parole eligibility, but in this case Turcotte’s sentence was neither unusual or disproportionate given the circumstances of the case and other similar cases in Canada.

“The gravity of the crime is hardly in doubt,” Hilton wrote. “Mr. Turcotte’s degree of responsibility is complete. Obviously, he alone is responsible for the two murders.”

The court ruled that Turcotte’s attempt to invoke the despair of his failing marriage is contradicted by evidence at the trial that he acted out of animosity towards his ex-wife, telling a nurse at the emergency room to give a message to her that he did it to upset her.

“Mr. Turcotte is not the first nor the last person to have lost the affections of a spouse for someone else,” Hilton wrote. “The breakdown of his marriage cannot have the effect he would attribute to it in the sentencing process in light of all the other factors the trial judge was obliged to consider and apply.”

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