April 24th, 2024

Quebec inmate who spent 51 months on lam pleads guilty to escaping federal prison

By The Canadian Press on March 21, 2024.

A makeshift memorial is shown at the scene following a fire in Old Montreal, Sunday, March 19, 2023, that gutted a heritage building. A Quebec man who spent 51-months on the lam from a federal prison before being arrested last year has pleaded guilty to escaping custody. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

MONTREAL – A Quebec man who spent 51 months on the lam from a federal prison before he was arrested last year has pleaded guilty to escaping custody.

Denis Bégin was sentenced to 18 months in prison to be served concurrently with a life sentence that he is already serving for second-degree murder.

Court documents in an unrelated case from Correctional Service Canada identify Bégin as a suspect in the Old Montreal fire last year that killed seven people, but police have never publicly identified him as a suspect and no charges have been laid in that case.

Bégin, 63, pleaded guilty today in a brief appearance by video conference before Quebec court Judge Marc-André Dagenais in Laval, Que., north of Montreal.

Dagenais agreed to a joint recommendation from the defence and Crown.

Bégin was considered one of Quebec’s most wanted criminals before he was caught.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 21, 2024.

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