A Montreal woman ended a friendship and a life over a stolen case of beer.
As reported by the Montreal Gazette, Francine Vallée was sentenced to 10 years in prison at the city’s courthouse on Wednesday. The 54-year-old pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of manslaughter in connection with the death of a former friend, Benoit Beaulieu.
According to the Gazette, Valleé, a woman with a history of substance use and addiction, took Beaulieu off the street and allowed him to say in her home in 2017.
While Beaulieu stayed with Vallée, he would collect empty bottles and use the money to buy beer.
The two often would drink together, although Vallée got aggressive when she consumed alcohol.
An incident on February 2018 resulted in an argument after Vallée made a deal to give a neighbour a case of beer in exchange for some crack cocaine.
Both had stolen the beer from a corner store earlier that day, but Beaulieu was against the trade. The argument between the two became physical to the point that Vallée grabbed a kitchen knife and drove it into Beaulieu’s chest.
She then left him on the kitchen floor to die and went to the neighbour’s apartment.
During interviews with the police, Vallée said the substances she consumed that night made it impossible for her to remember what had happened.
The Gazette reported that the court heard how a neighbour witnessed the stabbing wanted to call 911, but was talked out of it by Vallée.They called the police after returning to her apartment. Vallée also unsuccessfully attempted to revive Beaulieu.
“I will need to live with this, he was my friend. He didn’t deserve this,” Vallée said. “There isn’t a day I don’t think about him and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to forgive myself.”
Factoring in the time she’s been detained since her arrest, Vallée has seven and a half years left to spend behind bars.