Four-legged cop found evidence near scene of Laval homicide

Four-legged cop found evidence near scene of Laval homicide

An expert testified Tuesday that an STM ticket discovered by a police dog had the accused’s fingerprint on it.

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It turns out Finder did find significant evidence at the scene of a homicide investigation in Laval.

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Mélanie Marcoux, a Sûreté du Québec crime scene technician who testified Tuesday at the trial of Frédérick Silva, 41, confirmed that a Société de transport de Montréal transit ticket discovered by a police dog near the Laval car dealership where Alessandro Vinci was killed on Oct. 11, 2018 had Silva’s fingerprint on it.

Silva is on trial, before a judge alone, at the Montreal courthouse, where he is charged with the first-degree murder of Vinci and two other men: Yvon Marchand, a convicted drug dealer; and Sébastien Beauchamp, a man who had ties to the Hells Angels. They were killed between October and December 2018 in Montreal. Silva is also charged with the 2017 attempted murder of Montreal Mafia leader Salvatore Scoppa in Terrebonne.

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In September, Superior Court Justice Marc David heard evidence about how a German shepherd named Finder, who works for the Laval police, found the STM ticket on the front lawn of an apartment building on Lévesque Blvd. W. located just west of Automobiles Vinci, the business owned by the family of the victim. According to four witnesses, the dog found the ticket several hours after Vinci was killed.

While the other witnesses who testified in September described how the dog found the item, they were not able to testify about the significance of the evidence, as that did not fall under their expertise. For example, his handler, Nicolas Normandin, testified about how the canine reacted when it found the ticket and how Finder was trained to locate items recently handled by humans.

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Marcoux testified that while analyzing the ticket, she found a fingerprint on it that turned out to belong to Silva. She said her findings were backed by two other fingerprint experts, including Chantal Nadeau, the witness who testified after her on Tuesday afternoon.

Nadeau said she matched 12 points from the fingerprint found on the ticket to one of Silva’s that police had on file from a previous investigation.

The ticket was purchased on the day Vinci was shot and a timestamp on it indicated it was used at 7:04 p.m. Vinci was shot inside his small office inside the car dealership 90 minutes later.

When other witnesses testified in September, defence lawyer Daniele Roy noted often that it appeared to have been raining the night Vinci was shot. On Tuesday, she asked Marcoux whether water could have changed the fibres in the paper the ticket was printed on. The crime-scene technician said she did not know whether water could have have altered the ticket.

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At the end of September, an STM employee testified that all métro tickets have a unique stamp on them. This allowed police to pinpoint the moment when Silva used the ticket and where he used it. David was then shown videotape footage and photos of Silva using the ticket at the Square-Victoria métro station and getting off at the Montmorency station in Laval less than an hour before Vinci was killed.

The trial will resume on Wednesday.

 pcherry@postmedia.com

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