Partner charged with second-degree murder in slaying of Quebec mother of six

MONTREAL — A Quebec man was charged Friday in the slaying of his wife while their six children were present in their home.

Benoit Cardinal, 33, was charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Jael Cantin and remains detained with conditions that he not contact his children or a number of other witnesses in the case.

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Cardinal appeared to limp as he was captured by TV cameras entering the courthouse in Joliette, about 75 kilometres north of Montreal.

Cantin, 33, of Mascouche, Que., was found badly injured in the home the couple shared in the suburb about 45 kilometres north of Montreal.

Prosecutor Valerie Michaud told reporters the Crown wants to shield the kids, who are between the ages of one and 12, as much as possible with the case pending.

"Obviously, we will be concerned with protecting the children as much as possible throughout the proceedings, with all the powers that the law gives us," Michaud said.

Cardinal recently left his job at a youth centre in Laval, Que.

The regional health board in the area said in a statement Friday that at the end of December they were made aware of "inappropriate behaviour" by a staffer and launched an investigation.

Cardinal was suspended after the allegations and resigned last Friday.

The health board said it offered Cardinal psychological support.

In the aftermath of the slaying, the board has set up a support system for employees, users and their families and is collaborating with various groups for investigative purposes.

Police have remained tight-lipped about what might have happened in the residence on des Anglais Road.

At about 4 a.m., authorities received a 911 call and found an injured man and woman in the home as well as several young children.

Both Cantin and Cardinal were transported to hospital, where Cantin was pronounced dead.

Cardinal was treated for unspecified injuries and questioned by detectives before being placed under arrest on Thursday evening.

The children are now in the care of Cantin's family.

Cardinal is scheduled to return to court on Feb. 26.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2020.

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