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Trial starts for B.C. woman accused of murdering, dismembering ex-boyfriend

Nanaimo’s Paris Laroche on trial in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

WARNING: This article contains graphic details of an alleged murder and is not suitable for all readers.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge in Vancouver will decide if a Nanaimo woman is guilty of killing her ex-boyfriend, cutting up his body and disposing of it.

Paris Jayanne Laroche, 28, faces charges of first-degree murder and interference with a dead body in relation to the missing person case involving Sidney Joseph Mantee, who was 32 when he was reported missing in October 2020. The trial began Monday, Jan. 22, with Laroche pleading not guilty to both counts.

It is the intention of Crown counsel – Nick Barber and Sabrina Avery – to prove that Laroche killed Mantee with a hammer, dismembered his body and disposed of it at various waterways around Nanaimo.

It is alleged that in April 2021, Laroche confessed the murder to a friend, who alerted Nanaimo RCMP, but also told police that Mantee had been abusing Laroche. Subsequently, police initiated a three-day undercover investigation during which time it is alleged that Laroche discussed the murder. She was arrested in March 2022.

Items seized from the former couple’s apartment on Rosehill Street during the operation had Mantee’s DNA, stated Crown counsel, including a backpack, hammer and saw.

Const. Tim Mason of the Nanaimo RCMP’s serious crime unit and primary investigator took the stand Monday, testifying that 13 bone fragments were located in the Pipers Lagoon-Neck Point area by police and one by a civilian.

Based on information from police, Barber said Laroche was known to carry a very large knife and was infatuated with a survivalist attitude, living off the land, and witchcraft.

Barber told the court he anticipates Laroche will claim self-defence.

Laroche was set to stand trial in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo, but the trial was moved to Vancouver as a facility to house her during the trial could not be found.

Justice Robin Baird is presiding over the trial and issued a publication ban prohibiting identification of undercover police officers involved in the investigation.

The trial was set to feature a jury, but defence and Crown elected to have it tried by judge.

Laroche is being represented by Glen Orris and Robyn Young.

The trial is expected to last 20 days.

RELATED: Ex-girlfriend charged with first degree murder of Nanaimo man

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Karl Yu

About the Author: Karl Yu

I joined Black Press in 2010 and cover education, court and RDN. I am a Ma Murray and CCNA award winner.
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