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Catherine ANDRUS





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: No motive was given for the murder
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: September 24, 2009
Date of arrest: September 13, 2010
Date of birth: November 27, 1959
Victim profile: Michael Leblanc, 53 (her common-law husband)
Method of murder: Beating with an aluminum baseball bat
Location: Port Hope, Northumberland, Ontario, Canada
Status: Pleaded guilty. Sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 12 years on November 27, 2012

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Port Hope woman pleads guilty to second-degree murder in baseball bat beating of common-law husband at their Port Hope home in 2009

By Pete Fisher - Northumberland Today

November 28, 2012

OSHAWA - The common-law wife of a Port Hope man found murdered in his home pleaded guilty to second degree murder in a Oshawa courtroom.

Catherine Andrus turned 53 years old on the day she was sentenced to life imprisonment with no chance of parole for 12 years in a joint submission to the court.

She pleaded not guilty to first degree murder, but guilty to the lesser charge of second degree murder.

Justice E.B. Minden called called it a “vicious, callous, cowardly killing” of her common law spouse of 16 years.

Michel Leblanc, 53, was found dead inside their home on Sept. 24, 2009 at 3 Pochon Avenue after emergency services were called shortly after 8 a.m.

Court heard how Andrus’ teenage son is the one who found Leblanc inside a bedroom the morning after he celebrated his 16th birthday.

Minden said Andrus “pummelled her common law spouse to death” with a aluminum baseball bat.

An autopsy showed at least five blows the head and “any of the five blows could have killed him.”

Although no reason was given for the killing, court heard that the couple did suffer from financial difficulties, including Andrus’ gambling problem.

During the investigation into the murder, an undercover officer, led Andrus to a confession and she was arrested shortly thereafter.

Although Leblanc was under the impression from Andrus he was getting $5,000 in taxes back from the government, court heard he actually owed that much in taxes.

She also gave the impression to friends and family she was being treated for breast cancer.

Crown Attorney Brad Kelneck said the deception went on for months.

On the day of the killing, the 16-year-old son was getting ready for school when he went into the couple’s bedroom and found his father’s lifeless body.

Kelneck said the bedroom was staged to look like a home invasion with personal items including Leblanc’s wallet missing.

The items were later found in the van that Andrus was driving and in her locker.

Kelneck read from the statement of facts stating “it appeared Leblanc was asleep in bed and taken by surprise.”

Andrus removed her clothing as she anticipated it would be a bloody attack before committing the murder. She had a shower and used paper towels to clean up before discarding the bat and towels in a ditch. The murder weapon has never been found.

From two life insurance policies, along with the pension, she would have received $370,000 following Leblanc’s death.

Court heard how the murder may have been the financial motivation for Andrus.

“It’s a second degree murder, but a first degree tragedy,” Kelneck stated to the courtroom filled with friends and relatives of both Leblanc and Andrus.

Victim impact statements were read by the family of the best friend and family of Leblanc.

“Miche’ was our friend and like a brother to Sam,” read Corrine Marmora whose husband was best friends with the murdered man.

“Sam is lost without him. His world is shattered.”

“His life was taken way too early be a senseless act of violence.”

“We will always miss our gentle giant, but know he will be waiting for us when it is our time to go.”

Brother and sister Robert and Carole Leblanc spoke of their love for their brother and how their trust in people is gone.

“Mike was kind, thoughtful, loving and funny.

“We thought you loved him just as much as he loved you, but we were wrong about that.”

His most favourite thing in life was being a grandfather and you managed to take that away from him.”

“Our mother raised us to never use the word “hate” in a hateful way. I believe she would allow us to use it now because of what you have done to our family.”

They ended their statement with a message to Andrus.

“You said at his funeral that one day you and Mike will be together again. We know that this is not true because our brother is up in Heaven.”

Leblanc’s daughter, Tami O’Connor said, “We no longer get to build new memories.”

“Dad had a presence when he was in a room, and life has become a lot quieter since he’s been gone.”

“Your life changes in a massive way when someone you trust, love and respect betrays you with murder.”

Leblanc’s other daughter Tina Walters explained in her statement, that Andrus meant to take him away from his children, grandchildren, family and friends.

“We will never get to spend another second with my dad, my children will grow up never knowing him.”

“My dad will never get another chance at life, but the person who took his life will. Sometimes life just isn’t fair, this is one of those times!

In her final words to the court before being lead away, Andrus said the reason why she pleaded guilty is she is responsible - and her love for everyone involved.

“I have no desire to put you through an ugly trial.”

To the Leblanc family she stated, “I will not be so bold to ask for your forgiveness.”

But added when she is released she will not return to either Port Hope or Cobourg.

“For everyone effected by my actions from the bottom of my heart I am so very sorry.”

Andrus will be eligible for parole on Sept. 13, 2022.

She was also ordered to give a DNA sample and a lifetime firearms prohibition ban.


Port Hope woman sentenced to life for murder

Judge calls killing of common-law husband 'vicious, cowardly'

By Jeff Mitchell -

November 27, 2012

OSHAWA -- A Port Hope woman made a tearful apology to members of her murdered partner's family before being led away to begin serving a prison sentence Tuesday.

"I have no desire to put any of you through what would undoubtedly be an ugly trial," Catherine Andrus said from the prisoner's dock at the Oshawa courthouse.

"I pray you will all feel a sense of justice at the end of this day."

Ms. Andrus, 53, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the bludgeoning death of her common-law husband Michel Leblanc, whose body was found by his teenaged son in their Pochon Avenue home on the morning of Sept. 24, 2009. Initially charged with first-degree murder, Ms. Andrus admitted to repeatedly bashing the sleeping man in the head with a baseball bat, then trying to pass off the crime as a robbery gone wrong.

Ms. Andrus received a life sentence with parole eligibility set at 12 years. She has been in custody since her arrest in September 2010, making her eligible to apply for release in 2022.

"This was a vicious, callous, cowardly killing," Superior Court Justice Edwin Minden said in setting the sentence. "The offender literally pummelled her sleeping spouse to death."

The courtroom was packed with friends and relatives of Mr. Leblanc, many of them weeping. Victim impact statements read into the record described the 53-year-old Mr. Leblanc as a cheerful, generous man, dedicated to family and friends.

Tears were also shed by members of Ms. Andrus's family, including her teenaged son, a boy Mr. Leblanc had legally adopted as his own.

Court heard Mr. Leblanc's killing came after some years of financial strain in his 16-year relationship with Ms. Andrus. The couple had ongoing debt issues, exacerbated by Ms. Andrus's gambling, according to a statement of facts read into the record by prosecutor Brad Kelneck.

"Their credit cards were in default and frozen, and numerous disconnection notices had been sent to their home," Mr. Kelneck said. "Their property taxes were also in arrears."

In the days leading up to his death, Mr. Leblanc had two issues predominately on his mind, Mr. Kelneck said: One was an anticipated tax refund cheque he was counting on to help with money issues. The second was an appointment Ms. Andrus had in Kingston on Sept. 24, 2009 for a biopsy on her suspected breast cancer.

As it turned out, however, neither was true. Police searching the family home after his killing found a letter from Revenue Canada informing Mr. Leblanc that, in fact, he owed $5,000 in taxes. And Ms. Andrus was faking the cancer scare when she convinced her husband to call in sick on the day he died, court heard.

"There is no evidence she had confessed this to him," Mr. Kelneck said.

Court heard that on the morning of Sept. 24, Ms. Andrus bludgeoned her spouse, smashing him five times with a baseball bat as he lay sleeping in their bed. She then scattered items about and removed valuables to create the robbery scenario.

Court heard Ms. Andrus did some cleaning up with paper towels, showered and left for her 6 a.m. shift at a Tim Hortons restaurant, disposing of the towels and the murder weapon on the way. The couple's son, who had celebrated his 16th birthday the previous day, discovered Mr. Leblanc's body shortly after 7 a.m.

Ms. Andrus delivered a moving eulogy at her partner's funeral days later, court heard.

Ms. Andrus was arrested nearly a year later, on Sept. 13, 2010, and confessed to the killing. Court heard she stood to gain an estimated $370,000 through insurance policies and pension payouts.

On Tuesday -- her 53rd birthday -- Ms. Andrus stood in the prisoner's dock to face Mr. Leblanc's loved ones. Clutching notes between her cuffed hands, she took responsibility for her actions.

"I will not be so bold as to ask for your forgiveness," she said.

"From the bottom of my heart, I am so very sorry."


Charges laid in 2009 murder case

By Joyce Cassin - Northumberland Today

September 14, 2010

PORT HOPE - Investigators from the Port Hope Police Service and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) under the direction of Detective Inspector Shawn Glassford of the OPP Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) have arrested and charged a 50-year old Port Hope woman with first-degree murder in relation to the murder of 53-year old Michel Joseph Claude Leblanc of Port Hope.

The investigation commenced on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009 when Leblanc's body was located in his Pochon Avenue residence in the Municipality of Port Hope on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009.

Arrested and charged with first-degree murder is Catherine Donna Mary Andrus, age 50, of Port Hope.

Andrus is scheduled to appear in the Ontario Court of Justice in Cobourg this afternoon at 1:30.

Police are continuing the investigation and are asking that anyone who might have information in regard to the murder of Leblanc to please contact the Port Hope Police Service at (905) 885-8123.



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