A bizarre murder case that saw an alleged murderer roam free in the community right up until he pled guilty in an Amos courtroom is finally over.

Mistissini’s Emmanuel Blacksmith pled guilty January 12 to a reduced charge of manslaughter in the killing of 48-year-old Mario Fortin of Chicoutimi at the EM-1 hydroelectric project.

Crown Prosecutor Marie Chantal Brassard asked for a prison sentence of seven years.

Blacksmith had originally been charged with second-degree murder, but was able to plea bargain for a number of reasons, including the fact that he was intoxicated at the time of the incident and did not have the intention to kill Fortin.

The defense will ask for a sentence of two years less a day, but not more than five years. They had not yet finished their report at press time.

According to Brassard, the judge has asked for statistics from the probation office concerning the number of violent crimes committed while under the influence in Eastmain and Mistissini.

Blacksmith’s demeanor, lack of prior record and overall remorse for the incident enabled him to be released to his parents pending outcome of the trial. After the verdict was rendered, the 20-year-old was detained immediately. He will be sentenced in Amos May 15.