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The Globe and Mail

Quebec judge accused of killing wife had a mistress, court hears

Former judge Jacques Delisle, centre, walks out of a courtroom at his murder trial Tuesday, May 8, 2012 in Quebec City.

Jacques Boissinot/THE CANADIAN PRESS

A former judge accused of killing his wife had taken a mistress, his high-profile murder trial heard on its first day of testimony Tuesday.

Jacques Delisle had retired from the Quebec Court of Appeal just months before his wife was found dead from a gunshot wound to her temple.

The court was informed that Mr. Delisle's former secretary will eventually be called to testify. According to the prosecution, she had been having an affair with the judge — and they had apparently discussed the possibility of living together.

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The body of 71-year-old Marie-Nicole Rainville was found in the family's Quebec City home in 2009. Her death was initially listed as a suicide, but Mr. Delisle was charged seven months later.

It is believed to be the first time a Canadian judge has faced such serious charges.

A municipal police investigator also testified that there was an "abnormal and inexplicable" black smoke stain in the palm of the woman's hand — a strange location for such gunshot residue.

The investigator also deemed the choice of suicide method suspicious; in all his years on the police force he said he had never seen a woman kill herself with a revolver.

The jury trial heard a 911 call from Mr. Delisle, during which he explained that he had returned home to find his wife's body.

In the call the ex-judge, exhaling heavily, explained that his wife had been completely paralyzed on her right side following a stroke.

"My wife killed herself," Mr. Delisle told the 911 operator.

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"There's a revolver next to her."

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