In August of 2013, four-year-old Noah Barthe and six-year-old Connor Barthe were ecstatic about spending the night at their best friend’s house.
After spending the day barbecuing, swimming and playing with animals at a nearby farm, the brothers were tuckered out by the time they went to bed.
However, the next time they would wake up, they would be in a living nightmare—a massive python would be savagely attacking them:
According to CTV News, Noah and Connor were having a sleepover with Savoie’s son.
The boys’ mother, Mandy Trecartin, spent the night as well; she and Savoie were close friends:
— Journal de Montréal (@JdeMontreal) November 27, 2015
In the middle of the night, the 100-pound python escaped from its glass enclosure and slithered through a ventilation duct, eventually finding its way to Savoie’s living room, which is where the brothers were sleeping:
The massive snake bit the brothers numerous times before wrapping itself around them and asphyxiating them:
Tragically, Trecartin, Savoie and his son, who was in another room, slept through the attack.
It wasn’t until the next morning around 6:30 that the parents realized something was wrong.
Savoie went into the living room to try and wake the boys, but they didn’t budge.
In an interview, Savoie said:
“They were sleeping. But ‘they didn’t even open their eyes or nothing. I thought they were sleeping until I [saw] the hole in the ceiling. I turned the lights on and I [saw] this horrific scene.”
Immediately after finding the dead boys, Savoie frantically called 911:
However, it was too late.
In the wake of the boy’s death, Savoie was charged with criminal negligence, because he didn’t properly close off the ventilation duct, which allowed the African rock python to escape.
It was argued in court that if he had closed off the opening, the boys might still be alive today:
To make matters worse, Savoie had caught the snake attempting to slither through the ventilation duct numerous times before this incident.
However, he failed to take any precautions during the sleepover.
Now, after two years in court, a jury has decided Savoie is not guilty of criminal negligence:
Jean-Claude Savoie found not guilty in python deaths of 2 boys https://t.co/wvX438KbLj
— Q104 Halifax (@Q104Halifax) November 10, 2016
Savoie’s lawyer argued that Savoie believed the snake was “too big” to get through the duct, so he didn’t see a need to secure the opening fully.