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Biker Éric Leclerc charged with attempted murder

Published in 1%er News and All News

~~Victim Claude Fleury refuses to help police investigate shooting~~


MONTREAL — A man who was kicked out of the Hells Angels because of his problems with drug addiction is expected to appear in court Tuesday in an attempted murder case involving a recent downtown shooting.

Éric Leclerc, 43, was charged on Saturday with the attempted murder of 36-year-old Claude Fleury, a victim who refused to help the Montreal police in their investigation of the early Friday morning shooting. Leclerc is scheduled to return to the Montreal courthouse Tuesday for a bail hearing that is likely to be a mere formality. He was still serving a 15-month sentence for armed robbery when he was arrested Friday.

Fleury, a man with an extensive criminal record, was shot at least once as someone opened fire on St-André St., in between René-Lévesque Blvd. and Viger Ave., shortly after 2 a.m. on Friday. He was taken to a hospital in stable condition but, according to a police spokesperson, Fleury refused to co-operate with investigators. Leclerc was arrested near the scene of the shooting shortly afterward. According to the indictment filed in the case, Leclerc was residing in a three-storey building on St-André St. at the time of the shooting.

In 2001, Leclerc was among a group of four men who were the first to be sentenced under Canada’s then relatively new gangsterism laws, which provided judges the opportunity to double a convict’s sentence if their crime was committed for the benefit of a gang. Leclerc, who used to go by the nickname Beluga, received a 90-month sentence in 2001 for drug trafficking with members of the Rock Machine, a gang that was part of a group of criminal organizations called The Alliance. Between 1994 and 2002, the Alliance waged war with the Hells Angels over drug trafficking turf in Quebec’s major cities.

In 2000, while he was awaiting his trial, Leclerc and three other members of the Rock Machine stunned officials at the Rivière des Prairies Detention Centre when they asked to be transferred to a section of the jail where men loyal to the Hells Angels were detained. The four men had made arrangements to defect to the rival biker gang which, up to that point, had been unheard of.

Leclerc began the 90-month sentence as a part of the Hells Angels organization but, according to his Parole Board of Canada records, he was officially disaffiliated from the gang early in 2009. “According to police sources, your disengagement was not voluntary. You were thrown out because of your problems with drug addiction,” the parole board noted in one of it’s decisions concerning Leclerc.

The sentence proved to be a headache for Correctional Service Canada as Leclerc was aggressive with penitentiary staff, got into fights with other inmates and, while residing at a Montreal halfway house in 2006, tried to hold up a bar by threatening a cashier at knifepoint. He received an additional 30-month sentence for the armed robbery.

In March 2011, the parole board revoked what was by then Leclerc’s third release. During a parole hearing, on March 11, 2011, Leclerc claimed that he had failed to return to a halfway house because he had been drugged by a woman. He told the parole board he had rented a hotel room expecting to meet with the woman. Instead, he fell asleep in the room and woke up in a hospital with pain in his kidneys. He theorized to the parole board that the woman had drugged his coffee and that she was somehow involved in an underworld settling of accounts where he was the target. Leclerc’s parole officers were informed he ended up at the hospital after suffering an apparent drug overdose.

In December 2011, shortly after Leclerc’s lengthy sentence ended, he was arrested for an armed robbery involving a break-in in Montreal. He pleaded guilty to the armed holdup and, on June 4, 2013, received the equivalent of a three-year prison sentence. He was still serving the 15 months that remained on the sentence when he was arrested for the attempted murder of Fleury.