Two men convicted of attacking retired Montreal police detective in his home

Pietro Poletti was an expert on the Mafia for the Montreal police for decades, but the trial revealed nothing behind the motive for the attack.

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Two men were found guilty Friday of several charges filed against them after a retired Montreal police detective and his mother were attacked in their home in LaSalle more than two years ago.

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Quebec Court Judge Alexandre Dalmau determined there was enough evidence to find Yadley Deutz Saint-Jean, 25, and Mitchaino Bruno, 26, guilty of six counts each, including assault, uttering threats, breaking and entering and mischief, for having broken several items inside the home.

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The retired detective, Pietro Poletti, was an expert on the Mafia for the police force for decades, but the trial revealed nothing concerning the motive behind the attack.

On the morning of June 12, 2020, Poletti was watching television at home when the doorbell rang. When he opened his front door, he found himself standing face-to-face with three men wearing surgical masks. One said: “It’s him,” before the trio entered the home and began striking Poletti.

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As the trio attacked the retired detective — one using a brick and another a stick — his mother headed upstairs from the basement. One of the men stopped her on the stairway and pulled a chain from her neck. When Poletti fought back, he heard one of his assailants say: “Shoot him,” before the men ran from his home.

A neighbour who realized Poletti was in trouble followed the trio in his car as they ran toward their getaway vehicle. The neighbour managed to record the car’s license plate before it drove away. Saint-Jean and two other men who ended up charged in the case were inside the same car when Longueuil police located it hours later.

Louis-Simon Jacques, 33, the getaway driver, and Sandel Pierre, 20, the man who struck Poletti with the brick, pleaded guilty to charges filed against them before the case went to trial.

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Jacques testified and said he drove the three men to Poletti’s home on a request from Saint-Jean, his drug dealer. He told the judge his addiction to crack put him in debt and he agreed to work for Pierre to settle what he owed.

Jacques was able to identify Pierre and Saint-Jean with certainty as being among the men he drove that day. But Dalmau wrote Jacques’ testimony concerning Bruno left some doubt and he would not have convicted the accused on that alone.

Two Montreal police detectives who investigated Bruno in the past identified him from footage recorded by a surveillance camera as the men ran from Poletti’s home.

Bruno’s DNA was also found on a pair of disposable gloves found inside Jacques car. Dalmau wrote it was the other evidence that supported Jacques’ testimony and proved beyond a doubt Bruno was one of the attackers.

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Other evidence, presented by prosecutor Philippe Vallières-Roland, came in the form of cell phone record that showed phones used by both Saint-Jean and Bruno were registered as having been close to Poletti’s home when he and his mother were attacked.

Dalmau decided to acquit Saint-Jean of charges related to a firearm found inside a Nike sports bag inside Jacques’ car. The sports bag was at Saint-Jean’s feet when he was arrested, but the judge determined there was no evidence to show the firearm was brought inside Poletti’s home and there were no fingerprints or DNA found on the gun.

The case will enter the sentencing stage at a later date.

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