Toronto man pleads guilty to murdering 33-year-old girlfriend with a hammer

A Toronto actor has pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of his 33-year-old girlfriend in July 2021, admitting he struck Kim Gagne with a hammer at the basement apartment the couple shared near Albion and Weston roads.

On July 14, 2021, a nurse at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) called police, asking that officers check on the well-being of Gagne. During the nurse’s morning rounds, she had spoken to a walk-in patient named Bronson Lake who said he had hit his girlfriend in the head with a hammer, that she had lost consciousness and was losing blood, according to an agreed statement of facts read out in court.

Police went to the basement apartment where Gagne lived with her boyfriend, in the area of Yorkdale Crescent and Lovilla Boulevard to see if she was alright, but officers received no answer when they knocked on the door.

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Concerned, the officers opened the exterior door and were directed to an interior door where they observed some blood on the outside of the door. The officers opened the unlocked door, announced themselves and went inside.

They proceeded into the basement bathroom where they noticed blood marks, reddish water in the bathtub and drawings on the wall that looked like blood.

Read more: Man charged with 2nd-degree murder after woman found with ‘significant injuries’ in Toronto home

Gagne’s remains were located in the bedroom. Paramedics confirmed she was dead. The 33-year-old was face-down on her bed, her body naked and partially covered with a blanket. Her head had signs of severe trauma and there was extensive blood splatter all over the wall. Blood stains were noticed throughout the apartment.

A hammer was also located in the bedroom with blood stains on the head and handle. A blood-stained knife was also found in the kitchen.

A couple who owned the house said they had spoken to Bronson Lake the day before he went to CAMH. The female homeowner she she’d seen him and noticed he was bleeding on his left arm and on the right side of his neck. He was asking for a cab.

Bronson Lake. Global News / provided

The male homeowner said he saw Lake later in the evening. He tried to talk with him but he walked away.

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Lake arrived at CAMH in the early morning hours of July 14th. He had already attended Mount Sinai Hospital to have his arms and neck treated. Police obtained records from both hospitals. After making statements to the nurse, Lake was detained under the Mental Health Act at CAMH. Lake also spoke to a doctor, a social worker and a physician’s attendant. He told the doctor he had killed Ms Gagne and he had premeditated the act, intending to kill her and himself.

Court heard the fatal injuries were caused by the hammer found at the foot of the bed.

Read more: ‘Run, hide, protect yourself,’ mother of victim of intimate partner violence pleads

Lake was arrested at CAMH later that day. His lawyer, David Goodman, told the court that while his client accepts the facts and agrees he made a number of utterances that day, his memory of that was “very blurry.”

Gagne’s family watched the guilty plea via zoom from Rimouski, Que.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Goldstein has ordered a pre-sentence report for the offender. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for January.

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