Author Topic: Gilles Alain "Frenchie" Thibodeau (41), March 22, 2011 - MURDER  (Read 3491 times)


  • Guest

Street dweller dies after motel assault

Suspect, 34, faces charges in homicide

Katie Derosa And Louise Dickson, Times Colonist
Published: Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A 41-year-old Victoria man died in hospital Tuesday from injuries suffered in a violent assault last week at a low-rent motel.

Jason Robert Van Winkle, 34, of the West Shore, is charged with aggravated assault and is facing more serious charges in relation to the homicide, said Victoria police spokesman Sgt. Grant Hamilton. The suspect is well known to police.

The victim was Gilles Alain Thibodeau, who was well known in the street community; many called him Frenchie because he was French-Canadian. He had been in and out of jail in relation to convictions for drug trafficking, drug possession and theft.

Victoria police responded to the City Metro Suites motel at 2828 Rock Bay Ave. around 2: 50 a.m. March 16 after reports of a disturbance.

They found a man suffering from severe head injuries after what appeared to be a vicious beating inside suite 121.

He was unconscious, showing no signs of life. Police administered CPR until paramedics arrived. Paramedics took over resuscitation and the victim eventually started breathing. He was taken to Victoria General Hospital, but he died of his injuries Tuesday morning.

Van Winkle was arrested inside the suite and several witnesses were taken to the police station for questioning. Van Winkle remains in custody. His next court appearance is March 31.

Thibodeau was awaiting trial on a theft under $5,000 charge from July 12, 2010 and a warrant was issued for his arrest when he failed to show up in court Feb. 28 on a recent drug trafficking charge. He was also under a 10-year firearms ban.

Hamilton would not say whether the attack was drugrelated or speak to the motive but said no weapon was used.

Many suites at the motel are rented by the month. The 41-room motel, a former Traveller's Inn, was bought by Tim Quocksister and a partner in 2009 for about $2 million while it was in receivership, and renamed City Metro Suites.

Quocksister said neither the victim nor the accused were residents of the motel but would not say who lived in suite 121.

Tuesday morning, the vacant suite was being emptied out by two cleaners, who were putting the tenant's belongings in bags lined up on the railing outside. Many of the neighbouring suites had crude paper signs taped to their doors asking not to be disturbed.

"No to crack. Do not knock after 11 p.m," one read. "Don't bother us tonight," another read.

One resident, who only gave her first name as Rose, said residents put them up as a message to sex workers, drug dealers or people looking for drugs. She said the violent incident last week has prompted her and her boyfriend to look for a new place to live.

"After that, we're thinking of leaving," she said. "It's scary."

This is the region's third homicide this year. On Jan. 18, Saanich police found Erich, 73, and Kathy Mueller, 67, dead inside their home on Cadboro Bay Road.

Police have said it was a murdersuicide but refused to disclose who was responsible for the killing.

Langford resident Joseph Knelsen, 44, was charged with first-degree murder after 53year-old Gordon Berg was found dead in a home on Jeanine Drive on March 7.

© Times Colonist (Victoria) 2011

Jury to sit for murder trial

Times Colonist
Published: Thursday, July 14, 2011

A West Shore man accused of murdering Gilles Alain Thibodeau in March at City Metro Suites appeared by video in Victoria provincial court Wednesday.

Jason Van Winkle, 34, who is also charged with aggravated assault, has elected to be tried by judge and jury.

A two-day preliminary hearing will be held Oct. 11 and 12.

Defence lawyer Tom Morino has indicated he wants to hold a bail hearing for his client.

Van Winkle, a heavy-set man with a shaved head, is in custody at the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre.

Thibodeau, nicknamed Frenchie by his friends in the street community, died at Victoria General Hospital on March 22.

A week earlier, on March 16, police were called to suite 121 at the former Traveller's Inn and found Thibodeau unresponsive and suffering from severe head injuries.

After CPR by police and paramedics, Thibodeau started breathing. He was taken to hospital but died six days later.

© Times Colonist (Victoria) 2011

UPDATE: Suspect Held in Cormorant Street Homicide 11-27674
Thursday, August 04, 2011

Victoria BC – Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit detectives have a man in custody, following Wednesday night's homicide at a Cormorant Street apartment.

A 26-year old man was arrested after being released from hospital last night. He was one of the two men rushed to hospital just after 5 p.m. following an altercation inside the apartment.

One of the men died at Victoria General Hospital from his injuries.

The 26-year old man was admitted to hospital in serious condition, but released later that night into police custody. He remains in custody and is being held for telebail.

VIIMCU and Victoria Police Detectives continue to investigate and charges are still being contemplated.

Since July 2008 Victoria Police and VIIMCU have now made arrests in 11 of the city's past 12 homicides.

The Cormorant Street homicide is the city's second of 2011. On March 22 Gilles Alain Thibodeau died in hospital following an assault that occurred at 2828 Rock Bay Avenue. Jason Van Winkle was arrested and charged. He is due in court for a preliminary hearing on October 11th.

Man faces trial for manslaughter

Times Colonist
Published: Thursday, October 13, 2011

After a two-day preliminary inquiry, Jason Van Winkle has been committed to stand trial for manslaughter.

Van Winkle, 34, of West Shore, was originally charged with seconddegree murder in connection with the death of Gilles Alain Thibodeau at City Metro Suites. On March 16, police were called to the former Traveller's Inn and found Thibodeau unresponsive with head injuries. After CPR, Thibodeau started breathing and was taken to Victoria General Hospital, where he died March 22.

Van Winkle's defence lawyer Tom Morino said he will fix a date for the trial on Nov. 2. He indicated that he wants to hold a bail hearing for his client, who is in custody at the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre.

© Times Colonist (Victoria) 2011

View Royal man accused in manslaughter released into mother's custody

Nov 15 2011

A View Royal man charged with the manslaughter of Gilles Alain Thibodeau at City Metro Suites in March has been released into the custody of his mother on $10,000 bail.

Jason Van Winkle, 36, was originally charged with the second-degree murder of Thibodeau. After a two-day preliminary inquiry last month, he was committed to stand trial on manslaughter.

On March 16, police were called to a disturbance at the former Traveller's Inn and found Thibodeau unconscious and not breathing. Paramedics performed CPR and Thibodeau started breathing again. He was taken to Victoria General Hospital and died six days later.

Van Winkle has been in custody at the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre since his arrest that night.

At a bail hearing Monday attended by members of Van Winkle's family, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Terence Schultes agreed to release him on strict conditions. The proceedings can not be reported because a publication ban is in place.

Schultes ordered Van Winkle, immediately upon his release, to report to his bail supervisor accompanied by his mother, Patricia. Van Winkle must live with his mother and remain at her home in View Royal at all times. He is not allowed to leave the house unless he is accompanied by his mother, said Schultes.

If his bail supervisor approves, Van Winkle may attend a residential treatment program but his mother must accompany him to the facility and hand him over to one of the officials at the facility, said Schultes.

If he attends a treatment program, Van Winkle must remain at the facility at all times and comply with all the rules until he completes the program. He may leave the facility with his mother and must return to her house.

Van Winkle is not to consume any alcohol or illicit drugs. He is not to possess any weapons. He is to have no contact with five witnesses.

Long Gone

  • Member
  • Posts: 1804
    • View Profile
Re: Gilles Alain "Frenchie" Thibodeau (41), March 22, 2011 - MURDER
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2017, 07:47:24 AM »

Victoria man sentenced in 2011 assault that led to death
Jason Van Winkle pleaded guilty for assault that led to death
Louise Dickson / The Victoria Times Colonist

OCTOBER 24, 2012

A Victoria man has been sentenced to three years in prison for committing an unprovoked, prolonged assault that led to the death of Gilles Alain Thibodeau in March 2011.

Jason Van Winkle, 37, was originally charged with the second-degree murder of Thibodeau, 41. In July, Van Winkle pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

On Tuesday, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Laura Gerow sentenced Van Winkle to 3 1 /2 years in prison. Gerow gave Van Winkle credit for the 6 1 /2 months he spent in pre-trial custody. Van Winkle must spend another two years and 11 months in prison.

Before sentencing, and with his mother looking on from the public gallery, Van Winkle stood and apologized to Thibodeau's family.

"It's something I'll have to live with for the rest of my life," Van Winkle said. "I want to apologize and say I'm sorry."

Thibodeau's family was not present in the court room. He is survived by his elderly parents, who live in eastern Canada, and a sister in Portland, Oregon.

In an email to the court, his sister remembered Thi-bodeau as a smart and witty man who always made his family laugh.

"He was very much loved by his family who tried to support and help him with his addiction issues," she wrote. "His loss will be felt forever."

Prosecutor Dale Marshall told the court that in the early morning of March 16, 2011, Victoria police were called to a disturbance at the former Traveller's Inn on Rock Bay Avenue. They found five people in the room, including Thibodeau, who was blue, pale and not breathing, Marshall said.

Police and paramedics performed CPR and Thi-bodeau was taken to Victoria General Hospital with a faint pulse. He was put on life support but died on March 22, 2011.

Court heard that on March 15, 2011, Van Winkle hired Thibodeau to help him move a family from Duncan to Victoria. Thi-bodeau and two others were sent to Duncan. They started drinking, ran out of gas and abandoned the truck. Van Winkle had to retrieve his truck and finish the job himself.

That evening, Van Winkle, Thibodeau and three others were partying in the hotel room. Van Winkle, who had consumed cocaine, alcohol and heroin, accused Thibodeau of losing the key to his home, where he lived with his mother and daughter.

Thibodeau, who was smoking crack cocaine and drinking, ignored Van Winkle, Marshall said.

Eventually, Van Winkle said, "The only way I am going to get you to tell me the truth is to beat you up."

Van Winkle kicked Thi-bodeau in the stomach, Marshall said. Thibodeau threw a punch, but missed. Then Van Winkle knocked Thibodeau down and sat on him. He hit Thibodeau in the face six times, asking, "Where's my key? Where's my key?"

When Van Winkle got up, he realized that Thibodeau was in distress and started CPR, Marshall said.

The pathologist found cause of death was lack of oxygen to the brain due to acute cocaine and ethanol intoxication with physical restraint.

Thibodeau's injuries were minor and not thought to contribute to his death, the pathology report said.

However, the pathologist noted, circumstances described by witnesses - the application of a headlock and kneeling on the person followed by cardiac arrest - suggest the possibility of asphyxia due to neck or chest compression.

Van Winkle's defence lawyer, Tom Morino, said his client's guilty plea was sincere and made out of a sense of remorse.

Long Gone

  • Member
  • Posts: 1804
    • View Profile
Re: Gilles Alain "Frenchie" Thibodeau (41), March 22, 2011 - MURDER
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2017, 07:49:48 AM »

Thibodeau, Gilles
À l'Hôpital Général de Victoria, C.B., le 22 mars 2011, à l'âge de 41 ans et 11 mois, est décédé, M. Gilles Thibodeau, domicilié à Victoria, C.B. autrefois d'Edmundston. Il était le fils de M. Normand Thibodeau et Mme Louisette Bonsant d'Edmundston.

Outre ses parents, il laisse dans le deuil ses soeurs; Nicole de Portland, Oregon et Lise (Richard Bellefleur) de Ste-Julie, Qc.

Les funérailles auront lieu à 4h00 vendredi le 1er avril , en l'Église Notre-Dame des Sept Douleurs, Edmundston. M. Thibodeau sera exposé à compter de 2h00 vendredi au 21, 37e Avenue, Edmundston. Les heures de visites seront de 2h00 à 4h00 soit l'heure des funérailles. Ceux qui le désirent peuvent faire un don à la fondation de l'Hôpital Général de Victoria, CB ou à une charité de leur choix. Les dons pour l'Hôpital de Victoria peuvent être faits en ligne à