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Chocolate mogul formally charged in double murder of wealthy couple

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A chocolate impresario has been formally charged with murder in the grisly slayings of wealthy Canadian entrepreneur Daniel Langlois and his partner Dominique Marchand in the Caribbean.

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Prosecutors told QMI Agency late Tuesday that their neighbour, Jonathan Lehrer and an accomplice have been charged in Dominica.

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Langlois and Marchand vanished last week. On Friday, their incinerated vehicle was discovered by cops. Inside the wreck, the couple’s bodies were burned beyond recognition.

Both had been shot to death in an ambush before the vehicle was torched. Their families were given the tragic news on Saturday.

MURDERED: Canadians Daniel Langlois and his partner Dominique Marchand were targeted for death in Dominica. HANDOUTS
MURDERED: Canadians Daniel Langlois and his partner Dominique Marchand were targeted for death in Dominica. (HANDOUTS)

Detectives are working on the theory that the bitter dispute between Langlois and Lehrer was rooted in a squabble over a public road that passed through the candy king’s property. In 2019, the country’s highest court determined that it was a public road.

That meant visitors could use the road to get to Langlois’s luxury Coulibri Resort.

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Lehrer and his wife Victoria were not happy about the turn of events. She has also been arrested, along with a foreign national.

Their property, Bois Cotlette is “the oldest surviving estate on Dominica” and has been producing cocoa, coffee, and sugar cane, for nearly 300 years.

Dominica officials have vowed that the killers would be brought to justice.

The Coulibri Ridge Resort. COULIBRI RIDGE RESORT
The Coulibri Ridge Resort. (COULIBRI RIDGE RESORT)

Langlois made his fortune when he sold his cutting-edge animation firm to Microsoft in the early 1990s for an eye-popping $200 million.

He and his partner were beloved on the island with neighbours expressing their “shock and anger” at the “brutal and heartless” slayings.

One woman who worked at the couple’s hotel for the past six years told QMI she remains indebted to the pair.

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“They were a source of inspiration to all of us. We want justice to bring Jonathan to us so that we can take care of him. The community is in crisis, we want to take care of him ourselves,” said the woman who preferred to remain anonymous.

“We don’t want him to go to prison and be fed with our taxes and those of Daniel and Dominique.”

Victoria Lehrer is also a suspect. FACEBOOK
Victoria Lehrer is also a suspect. (FACEBOOK)

Another local resident added: “The community is suffering, we can’t work, we lost two good people and the community is going to be poorer without them,” commented another resident of Soufrière.

The couple were generous to a fault, particularly in times of crisis. When Hurricane Maria slammed into the island in 2017, the pair to rebuild a local school destroyed in the storm.

“He was really instrumental in the rehabilitation of the Soufrière primary school with an amount of more than $1 million invested,” said school director Ericson Degallaire.

“He did a lot of good for the school. It’s unfortunate that he and his partner experienced such an end.”

Another added:  “We all benefited from Daniel and Dominique. Our children at secondary school have all benefited from the couple’s kindness and almost everyone in Gallion has already worked at the Coulibri hotel,” said a resident of the community in tears.

bhunter@postmedia.com

@HunterTOSun

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