Preliminary inquiry wraps up in Fort-Coulonge homicide case
Judge accepts charge of first-degree murder, introduction of suspect’s statements
Article published on 11 February 2022
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We have a small update on the first degree murder trial of a Fort-Coulonge man that’s slowly winding its way through the courts.

On February 9, prosecutors and the defense made their submissions to Judge Richard Meredith in Gatineau regarding the case of Johann Mitchell Blake McClennan, who is charged with first-degree murder in relation to the death of Harold Plugowsky, a 61-year-old also from Fort-Coulonge.

On the evening of September 2, 2020 police were called to a residence on rue Principale, where they found Plugowsky with severe head trauma. He died in hospital the following morning. MacLennan, 37 at the time, was arrested and subsequently charged with first-degree murder after a brief court appearance on September 3.

There is currently a publication ban on the details from the proceedings at the preliminary inquiry, so at this moment CHIP 101.9 cannot report on the substance of the arguments made, but we can report the outcome.

Crown prosecutor Simon Pelletier said that the judge accepted their positions that MacLennan should go to trial for the charge of first-degree murder, and that all his statements should be introduced.

The next step is a hearing before a superior court on March 10, where Pelletier said that they would likely be working out logistics, such as the date and length of the trial. Crown prosecutors for the case are Pelletier and Stéphane Rolland. The accused is represented by Élise Pinsonnault and Catherine Ranalli.

We’ll have more on this story as it develops.

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