Trial into the murder of U of T clerk hears of bitter breakup, torrid affair
|Toronto Star 28 Nov 2017 at 10:24|
A Toronto lawyer arranged his husband’s murder with his lover in order to collect on a $2 million life insurance policy, a prosecutor told a jury Monday at the start of a murder trial in a downtown courtroom.
Crown attorney Anna Tenhouse presented a summary of the prosecution’s anticipated evidence, including details of a bitter breakup, a torrid romance, salacious emails, and allegations that the accused men killed the victim after he bankrolled their European travels.
At the centre of this love-triangle trial is Allan Lanteigne, a University of Toronto accounting clerk who was beaten to death in the entranceway of his Ossington Ave. residence on March 2, 2011. His body was discovered the next day.
Accused of first-degree murder is Lanteigne’s husband, Demitry Papasotiriou-Lanteigne, who has pleaded not guilty. The couple married exactly 13 years ago, on Nov. 27, 2004, at Toronto City Hall.
Co-defendant Michael Ivezic, a Mississauga married father, has also pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. The Crown alleges he became Papasotiriou-Lanteigne’s lover after his marriage to Lanteigne fizzled out in 2008.
Despite their split, Papasotiriou-Lantiegne and Lanteigne continued living together. Papasotiriou-Lanteigne, a lawyer, bought the home with two relatives. Their names — but not Lanteigne’s — were on title.
“While the marriage did not formally end, by 2009, Mr. Papasotiriou-Lanteigne was involved in an intensely intimate relationship with Mr. Michael Ivezic,” Tenhouse told the jury.
Jurors will see emails in which Ivezic refers to Papasotiriou-Lanteigne as his “Baby B-O-I” and Ivezic was referred as “Daddy,” Tenhouse said. She read several steamy excerpts.
Papasotiriou-Lanteigne gave Ivezic a key to the Ossington home to use as a place to have sexual relations, the prosecutor said.
In 2009, Papasotiriou-Lanteigne was accepted into a PhD program at the University of Lucerne, Switzerland.
“He paid for Mr. Ivezic to accompany him to Europe,” for the preadmission interview, Tenhouse said.
But Papasotiriou-Lanteigne wasn’t long for Switzerland. By the spring of 2010, he moved to Greece where his father lived, “and continued to pay for flight tickets so that Mr. Ivezic could join him in Europe,” Tenhouse said.
Except that it was Lanteigne, working full-time at U of T and part-time as a caterer, “who was working two jobs to pay for all their joint expenses,” while struggling to pay the bills and maxing out his credit cards, she said.
While Lanteigne repeatedly told his spouse he could not provide “an endless flow of money,” the demands did not cease. At one point, Papasotiriou-Lanteigne asked his spouse to liquidate the $23,000 he had saved in his RRSP.
“I am working my ass off and I do not see you doing anything,” Lanteigne wrote in an email that Tenhouse read to the jury.
“My husband is having the time of his life in Greece and Switzerland and with his hand out and I’m here like a slave giving it to him. Sorry I have no more,” Lanteigne wrote in another email.
Allan Lanteigne, centre-left, was beaten to death at his Ossington Ave. home in 2011. This photo of him and his accused killer and husband, Demitry Papasotiriou-Lanteigne, from their wedding reception was introduced in court Monday. (Court exhibit)
Lanteigne began to suspect the affair and talked to a friend about a divorce, but was reluctant because his name wasn’t on title and he had poured all of his time and money into the house, Tenhouse said.
In early February 2011, Lanteigne wired his spouse $1,425 after telling him “there will be no more.”
On March 2, Papasotiriou-Lanteigne emailed Lanteigne asking him to give him a call in Greece when he got home.
“Don’t dilly dally on your way home buying shoes and shirts and crystal balls,” Tenhouse said reading from Papasotiriou-Lanteigne’s email.
That afternoon, Lanteigne left work and walked directly home, “just like he had been told to do by Mr. Papasotiriou-Lanteigne,” the prosecutor said.
The Crown’s submission is that Ivezic was waiting there for him after letting himself in with a key, “given by the man who stood to gain $2 million and more from the death of Allan Lanteigne,” Tenhouse told the jury.
An autopsy showed Lanteigne was beaten to death. He was 49. No weapon was found but Ivezic’s DNA was found under Lanteigne’s fingernails.
Within weeks, Papasotiriou-Lanteigne, still in Greece, enlisted Ivezic to collect money owing to him from Lanteigne’s death. Papasotiriou-Lanteigne also sought $2 million from Lanteigne’s life insurance policy naming him as the beneficiary.
Tenhouse concluded her opening remarks by reading several romantic email exchanges between Papasotiriou-Lanteigne and Ivezic. Ivezic left his wife and children in May 2011 and flew to Greece where the pair planned to build a house, the jury was told.
Papasotiriou-Lanteigne was arrested on a visit to Toronto in November 2012. Ivezic stayed in Athens where he was arrested in 2013.