Poker Pro Ex Pleads Guilty To Robbery
The robbery at the home of poker pro Jonathan Duhamel in Montreal, which took place last December, is one step away from final resolution. The accused has pleaded guilty and the sentence will be passed shortly.
Duhamel Girlfriend Behind Robbery
The poker player's ex-girlfriend Bianca Rojas-Latraverse pleaded guilty to charges of robbery, kidnapping and conspiracy in the court. The 21-year-old admitted that she had masterminded the beating and robbery in December 2011.
The Crown ruled that though two of the woman's co-conspirators had actually entered Duhamel's Montreal home to commit the robbery, Rojas-Latraverse deserved to face the same charges since she had hatched the plot. Bianca had taken advantage of her past relationship with Duhamel by passing vital information on to her accomplices.
The robbers took away $160,000 in cash, a $10,000 Rolex watch and Duhamel's custom-made 2010 World Series of Poker bracelet. Duhamel was awarded this bracelet along with a sum of USD8.9 million when he won the prestigious Main Event in 2010. He was the first Canadian ever to win this honour.
Apart from Bianca, four men have been arrested in the case. The last arrest took place just a few days before the trial, when a 21-year-old man was picked up from Gatineau in Quebec on suspicion of driving the getaway car. One man was arrested last year itself when he was allegedly caught wearing the poker player's Rolex watch.
Rojas-Latraverse's lawyer, Sarah Desabrais, denied during the trial that her client was pleading guilty to get a reduced sentence after spending almost one year behind bars. Desabrais claimed that Bianca wanted to clear her conscience and that was the true reason for the guilty plea. The Crown attorney Nancy Delorme did not buy this story. She said, "She could have done the plea at the beginning of the process, but better late than never."
The Canadian authorities had seized a large sum of euros and Canadian dollars during the raid that led to the arrest of Rojas-Latraverse's alleged accomplices. The accomplices, Anthony Bourque and John Clark-Lemay will face a separate trial. The Crown has said Duhamel can recover the stolen money.
Duhamel On Girlfriend Bianca
Soon after the robbery, Duhamel had spoken on CJAD Radio. He expressed regret over entering into a relationship with Bianca. The five month relationship was rocky at best and it even included a pregnancy scare. Duhamel said that he was not surprised that Bianca was involved in the robbery.
Of all the items stolen, Duhamel is most concerned about the bracelet. "It means everything. It was a realization of a dream to me to win the biggest, most prestigious tournament in the world. It's kind of like a Stanley Cup ring for me," Duhamel said.