Killer cowers as he appears in court to drop faint hope bid

This post features videoKiller Richard Joyce tried to hide his face from my camera and he refused to answer any questions as he shuffled into a Kingston, Ontario, courtroom today to make the surprise decision to abandon his faint hope application. As revealed in this previous post, Joyce now faces new charges related to the abduction and sexual assault of a nine-year-old girl 21 years ago, the year before he killed a Kingston woman during a gas bar robbery.

Joyce is now facing a dozen charges stemming from the unsolved 1990 incident. A girl walking home from a trip to the convenience store was snatched off the street by a lone man in a car, driven to a secluded spot, sexually assaulted and then returned to an area not far from her home. Her attacker threatened to kill her and her mother if she told authorities about the incident. Kingston Police say no one was caught, despite an intensive investigation. But in March 2010, samples from the sexual assault kit collected in 1990 were sent to the Centre of Forensic Sciences, which was able to collect a genetic profile. The profile was entered into the national databank of known criminals and matched to a genetic sample taken from Richard Joyce, 44, who is in prison in Kingston, serving his life sentence for the 1991 murder of Yvonne Rouleau. Joyce and accomplice Terry Kennedy, who recently failed to get an earlier parole date at a faint hope hearing, were convicted of first-degree murder in the Rouleau killing and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years. In Kingston’s superior court Friday morning, lawyer Brian Callender said: “This matter’s been abandoned,” putting an end to Joyce’s faint hope hearing that was scheduled to begin Feb. 14. Although Joyce had been brought to the courthouse for the brief procedure, he was not brought into the courtroom. He sat in the holding cells and was whisked away by Corrections Canada staff a few minutes after Callender spoke in court.

Joyce is expected to appear in court in Kingston Monday and the new case against him is expected to conclude.

The sex charges are an ominous reminder of some of the evidence used against Joyce in the Rouleau murder trial. A police officer testified that he was planted in the holding cells where Joyce and Kennedy were held after their arrest. He eavesdropped on the killers and took notes. According to the officer, Joyce asked Kennedy: “Have you had any fantasies since you’ve been here?” and then, “I’ve had a hundred of them and they all involve death, mutilation and torture.”

Witness Pierre Milot offered troubling testimony. Milot was a federal inmate who was in the same provincial detention centre where Joyce and Kennedy were housed to await trial. He was in same cellblock with the murderers and said he listened in on a conversation. Here’s a snip from his testimony:

Milot: I remember what Mr. Joyce was saying. He was talking about the crime, himself, like, all the description about the crime. ‘You see her reaction when I give it to her? You didn’t see nobody around when I give it to her?’
Question: Do you recall anything else that he said?
Milto: He said, ‘I never feel kind of pleasure like that before. That was great,’ and ‘the hole was big enough to put my dick in. On each shot, that’s like my hands go inside the bodies.’

Milot’s testimony is at odds with Kennedy’s testimony at his faint hope hearing held this month in Kingston. Kennedy testified, in his first public comments about the murder, that he wielded the serrated kitchen knife used to kill Rouleau. Police and prosecutors never established who inflicted the fatal wounds – Rouleau was repeatedly stabbed and her throat was slashed – but the evidence at the 1992 trial pointed to Joyce as the killer. Joyce and Kennedy did not testify at the murder trial.

Below is the release issued today by Kingston Police outlining the new charges against Joyce:

Here’s my video of Joyce’s court appearance in Kingston, Ontario:

» All posts about the Rouleau murder

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