Murder trial hears from accomplice, alleged partner in crime

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    John Boulachanis wanted to kill Robert Tanguay because he suspected he was an informant for the police and posed a threat to the stolen-car ring both men were a part of. 

    The motive for the 1997 murder emerged Tuesday during Boulachanis’s first-degree murder trial at the Gouin courthouse in northern Montreal. An accomplice in the murder, a 58-year-old man whose name cannot be published because of a court order issued by Superior Court Justice Michael Stober, took the witness stand for the first time on Tuesday. 

    The witness told the jury he was sentenced in 2003 to the equivalent of a 12-year prison term, after being convicted of manslaughter in the death of Robert Tanguay. Boulachanis, 42, is charged with murdering Tanguay.

    He said he was the one who introduced Boulachanis to Tanguay. The three men, plus another accomplice whose name cannot be published, worked together in 1997. They purchased heavily damaged cars through auctions, then switched vehicle identification numbers with matching, stolen cars.

    The man said that at some point in their partnership Boulachanis suspected Tanguay was feeding information to the police and that “had to be eliminated.” The man said he, Boulachanis and the other accomplice dug a hole in a sandpit in Rigaud to prepare for the murder. 

    The 58-year-old man’s testimony resumes Tuesday morning. 

    pcherry@postmedia.com