The trial of a man accused of killing his father in 2012 has begun in Red Deer’s Court of Queen’s Bench this week.
Aaron Guilbault, 33, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of his father Timothy Guilbault, 58. He pleaded not guilty by reason of not being criminally responsible.
Timothy, a former Red Deer City councillor from 1986 to 1995 and a Calgary businessman was found dead at his cottage in Red Lodge Estates near Innisfail on Nov. 5, 2012.
Aaron’s trial began on Monday and is expected to run until Nov. 21st.
During the first day of the trial, Crown Prosecutor Maurice Collard read into the record an Agreed Statement of Facts.
In the document, it stated that Aaron, who is Timothy’s adopted son, had a history of mental illness which escalated in the months leading up to Timothy’s death.
It also indicated that Aaron used drugs and alcohol from 1999 to 2011 and that he relied on his father for financial assistance as he could not hold down a job for long periods of time. He was also admitted to the Ponoka hospital earlier in 2012 and was released.
Aaron lived at the family’s cabin in Red Lodge Estates near Bowden beginning in June 2012. Tim, who lived in Calgary at the time, visited Aaron regularly to check on his well being.
In October of 2012, Aaron wrote a number of messages on facebook including “Timothy Bruce Guilbault is a stinking liar”, and “Timothy Bruce Guilbault is gay, not to mention he is the devil.” On Oct. 23rd, Aaron wrote, “He’s lived enough life”.
In the Agreed Statement of Facts, it said Timothy traveled to the cabin in Red Lodge Estates on Nov. 3rd, 2012. Once he arrived, Aaron attacked him and struck him in the back of the head with a black baseball bat outside of the home. Timothy got inside the cabin and was struck in the back of the head again by Aaron. Timothy died of blunt force trauma.
RCMP attended the cabin on Nov. 3rd, 2012 looking for Aaron after a complaint from a former classmate from Red Deer College. She said that Aaron had been in contact with her when he was not supposed to be.
The Agreed Statement of Facts said that when RCMP attended the cabin to look for Aaron they saw blood in the snow as well as a crushed man’s watch. However, they did not go into the cabin and left the scene.
On Nov. 5th, Aaron returned to the cabin and took a photo of Timothy’s body which was lying face down on the ground. His head was covered with a piece of clothing that Aaron had placed there.
Aaron’s sister, Caroline Guilbault, was the first witness to testify in the trial.
She said she became worried around the time of her father’s death as she hadn’t heard from him in a few days.
She said she texted Aaron on Nov. 4th, 2012 asking if he knew where their father was.
She said Aaron showed up at her home in Red Deer less than five minutes after she sent the text.
“I asked if he knew where dad was and he said, ‘Nope, but I need to talk.’”
Caroline said Aaron told her that he wanted to talk to her about faith and love.
She said she also asked her fiancée to call the RCMP as she was aware they were looking for Aaron in relation to the harassment incident with his former classmate.
Caroline said Aaron did not stay long and she tried to keep him at her home for as long as possible so that the police could get there.
As he was leaving her residence, Caroline said she asked if he knew the police were looking for him and if he knew what that was about and he replied, “I made a phone call that I shouldn’t have.”
On Nov. 5th, 2012, Caroline went to the cabin to search for her father. “I knew I had to go to the cabin. I knew he had been going there regularly.” On her way to the cabin, Caroline got a text from her mother who lived in Stettler telling her that Aaron was coming to her home to talk.
Caroline said she and her fiancée pulled up to the house in Red Lodge Estates. Once inside the home, she went into the basement.
“I remember it being sunny and when I opened the door I saw a shape on the floor. At first my head said that it looks like a duffle bag, but when my eyes adjusted, I saw it was my dad,” she said, getting emotional on the stand. “He was laying face down on the floor. There was blood everywhere. Half his body was behind a chair and his head had a jacket over top of it. I recognized it as Aaron’s jacket.”
She called 9-1-1 and while on the phone with the operator wanted to make sure her father was dead.
“I touched his lower back and he was so, so cold,” she said. “I knew he wasn’t with us anymore.”
Caroline added she called her mother to tell her what happened and to get out of the house for safety reasons as Aaron was still on his way to see her at her Stettler home.
Aaron was arrested by RCMP shortly after Caroline discovered her father’s body.
Meanwhile, defense lawyer Patricia MacNaughton told Justice Monica Bast that she would be raising the defense of Aaron not being criminally responsible at the time of the incident. She is expected to call two expert witnesses to the stand to support her case.