Closing arguments in trial of Quebec man charged with kidnapping elderly US couple

close argument A trial is underway for a Quebec man charged in connection with the kidnapping of a couple from upstate New York who were smuggled into the state and detained.

Gary Arnold told jurors in September 2020 that he was threatened into doing various jobs by a man simply called “Big.”

Arnold’s attorney, John T. Pepper, argued today that his client feared for his family’s safety and complied with orders because of intimidation, and Crown did not prove his client knew nothing about the kidnapping. he suggested to the jury.

Arnold faces seven counts, including kidnapping, false imprisonment, extortion and conspiracy, resulting from the September 27, 2020 kidnapping of James and Sandra Helm.

The court heard that the couple had been abducted, brought by boat to Quebec, and then taken to a cottage in Magog, Quebec, about 125 kilometers southeast of Montreal.

Crown says the couple, who were released two days later, were kidnapped as leverage to recover 50 kilos of cocaine or $3.5 million in cash from their grandchildren.