MONTREAL – The accused gunman from the Parti Quebecois election-night rally showed up in court Thursday with a pair of bloody wounds on his head.
Richard Henry Bain arrived stepped into a Montreal courtroom with a pair of fresh scrapes atop his bald scalp — one the size of a loonie, the other as big as a nickel.
“The guard pushed me,” Bain told his lawyer from the defendant’s box, loud enough for the courtroom to hear.
After the brief appearance, defence attorney Elfriede Duclervil said she would request an investigation into the injuries and seek additional precautions for her client.
“My client is visibly injured,” Duclervil said. “He has two wounds on his head — he was bleeding.”
Bain’s next court date was set for Dec. 7.
The fishing-lodge owner faces 16 charges, including first-degree murder; three counts of attempted murder; arson; and a number of weapons charges stemming from the Sept. 4 incident where two people were shot and one was killed.
Loved ones of shooting victim Denis Blanchette sat in the front rows of the courtroom Thursday, a few metres from Bain. They did not say a word during the proceedings. Blanchette, a stagehand at the PQ’s victory rally, was shot outside Montreal’s Metropolis concert hall.
Bain’s appearance was a discovery hearing, where evidence against him was provided to his lawyer. The evidence was translated into English, as he requested.
The handcuffed defendant was attentive during the hearing and glanced around the courtroom several times. He wore a dark sweatshirt and a necklace with a cross.
The evidence to be used against Bain could include the audio recording of an interview he gave a Quebec radio network last month, during which he shared his political opinions such as his belief that Montreal should separate from the rest of the province.
The radio network said it had not yet turned over, nor received a request from police for, the interview recording.
Bain phoned Monteal radio station CJAD last month from his detention centre’s infirmary — without his lawyer’s knowledge.
The phone call lasted 38 minutes, but the station said it chose to only run a brief snippet on the air to avoid giving him a political platform.
Duclervil was still wondering Thursday how he managed to make such a lengthy phone call from jail.
“I’m able to speak with my client and visit him on a regular basis,” she said. “Am I able to speak with him on the phone for 38 minutes? The answer is no.”
Bain was arrested after Blanchette and colleague Dave Courage were struck by a single bullet in last month’s election-night attack.
The shooting took place only metres from where PQ then-premier-elect Pauline Marois was giving her victory speech.
Following Bain’s first court appearance last month, the prosecution indicated that it hadn’t ruled out an additional charge of attempted murder as it investigated whether Marois was an intended target in the shooting.
Duclervil said Thursday that the investigation is ongoing and more charges could be laid against her client.
She said she will only decide whether to request a psychiatric evaluation for Bain after she receives all the evidence against him.
“As of right now, it’s a possibility,” she said.
Duclervil said she didn’t have any concerns about Bain’s safety following his last trip to the courthouse, which saw him transported by provincial police.
“Today, he was brought here with the general population, with all the other inmates who had to appear in court today — and something happened, obviously,” she said.
She added that she plans to request special protection for her client: “After today, I should. I will.”