Andy Giraudel, pictured, was murdered in Watson Lake in 2016. Travis Dennis pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in his death May 30. (Facebook)

Man pleads guilty to 2016 Watson Lake murder

Travis Dennis, pleaded guilty to killing Andy Giraudel in 2016

A man has pleaded guilty to the 2016 murder of Andy Giraudel in Watson Lake, admitting that he “snapped” and stabbed the 36-year-old during an argument before dismembering his body following a night of drinking.

Appearing before Yukon Supreme Court Justice Ron Veale May 30, Travis Dennis, wearing red Whitehorse-Correctional-Centre-issued scrubs and a crucifix necklace, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder.

A handful of people were in the courtroom gallery for the plea. Giraudel’s parents and a sister observed the proceedings from Watson Lake via video conference.

Crown prosecutor Eric Marcoux read an agreed statement of facts to the court that outlined the events leading up to, and following, Giraduel’s murder.

According to the statement, Dennis, who was 23 at the time, Giraudel and a friend were drinking at Dennis’ house in Watson Lake the night of July 13, 2016. Early the next morning Giraudel and Dennis went for a walk on a nearby wooded trail and started arguing.

The argument was triggered by Dennis asserting that Giraudel had sexually assaulted him on “several instances” over the past couple of years, the statement says, and escalated when Giraudel told Dennis that Dennis “had enjoyed what had been done to him.”

Giraudel then told Dennis that he “should have ‘overdosed like your bitch of a mother,’” at which point Dennis “snapped” and stabbed Giraudel in the chest, “followed by a number of other stabs to the chest and back.”

Giraudel died on the trail.

After the murder, the statement says, Dennis “immediately drank part of a mickey of vodka the men had with them” and went home. He returned to the scene later that morning to dismember Giraudel’s body, placing the parts into four orange garbage bags and hiding them in the surrounding woods.

The murder was uncovered July 16, 2016, when a man called Watson Lake RCMP to report that his dog had “dug up something.” Police went to the man’s residence and he showed officers a human leg.

Police issued a press release the following day in hopes of identifying the victim.

A family member of Giraudel’s reported him missing the afternoon of July 18, 2016.

Less than an hour later, Dennis arrived at the Watson Lake RCMP detachment and told police he had found a bag of bloody clothes and a knife and “as a result thought he might have killed somebody.” He was arrested for murder and in a statement to police July 19, 2016, said “he initially had no recall” of Giraudel’s death but that his memory came back “over time after finding the bag with bloody clothing and hearing about a human leg being found.”

Dennis told police where to find Giraudel’s body and the bag of bloody clothes, the agreed statement of facts says, and also explained his “complicated relationship” with Giraudel, describing “two instances where he was sexually assaulted by (Giraudel),” which is why he “hated” him. The two men “encountered each other from time to time around Watson Lake,” the statement says, but “this matter was unresolved between them.”

Police found Giraudel’s body later the same day. Police also obtained a search warrant for Dennis’s house and, under the deck, found another orange garbage bag containing bloody clothes, a knife and a blue shoulder bag with Giraudel’s wallet inside.

A forensic pathologist determined Giraudel died from “multiple stab wounds to his torso.”

Dennis is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 10. Veale, upon a request from the defence, ordered a pre-sentencing report and Gladue report to be completed prior to that date.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

murderYukon courts

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Zhùr, the ancient wolf pup found mummified in permafrost at Last Chance Creek mine in July 2016. (Government of Yukon/Submitted)
‘Mummy’ wolf pup unearthed in permafrost paints a picture of ice age ancestors

Zhùr is the best preserved and most complete mummy of an ancient wolf found to date.

Former premier Tony Penikett begins a presentation at the Whitehorse Public Library about his book, Hunting the Northern Character, on Dec. 11, 2018. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Former premier named to Order of Canada

Tony Penikett reflects on career

Ed Hopkins starts the 36-mile race at the Carbon Hill Race Day on Jan. 10. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)
Dogs take over Mount Lorne for Carbon Hill Race Day

The Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon (DPSAY) hosted its annual… Continue reading

As it gets set to turn over ownership of its supportive housing building downtown to Yukon Housing, Options For Independence will not be required to pay back more than $65,000 in City of Whitehorse grants it was provided towards property taxes, decided city councillors on Jan. 11. (John Hopkins-HIll/Yukon News file)
Exemption granted for building transfer

Options For Independence won’t be required to pay back city grants

Mayor Dan Curtis speaks during a city council meeting in Whitehorse on March 9, 2020. Whitehorse property owners can expect their 2021 property tax bills to rise by less than a per cent if the operating budget for the year is adopted as proposed. “A minimal tax increase allows the city to maintain its many existing services and programs, while also supporting important initiatives such as climate change mitigation and enhanced bylaw enforcement,” Curtis said. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Minimal increase proposed for Whitehorse property taxes

Budget would see 0.34 per cent tax increase

The grace period for the new Yukon lobbyist registry has come to an end and those who seek to influence politicians will now need to report their efforts to a public database. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Grace period for new lobbyist registry ends

So far nine lobbyists have registered their activities with politicians in the territory

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21, 2020. Some Yukon tourism and culture non-profit organizations may be eligible to receive up to $20,000 to help recover from losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Details released on relief funding for tourism and culture non-profits

Some Yukon tourism and culture non-profit organizations may be eligible to receive… Continue reading

Mayo-Tatchun MLA Don Hutton won’t be runing for re-election. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Mayo-Tatchun MLA won’t run for re-election

Liberal MLA Don Hutton won’t be running for re-election. A former wildland… Continue reading

Large quantities of a substance believed to be cocaine, a large amount of cash, several cells phones and a vehicle were all seized after RCMP searched a Whistle Bend home on Jan. 6. (Photo courtesy RCMP)
Seven arrested after drug trafficking search

RCMP seized drugs, money from Whistle Bend residence on Jan. 6

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Whitehorse RCMP are seeing a growing trend of vehicle break-and-enters in the Kopper King area. (Black Press file)
Series of break-and-enters in Kopper King area

Series of break-and-enters in Kopper King area Whitehorse RCMP are seeing a… Continue reading

Signage near the newly opened Dawson City ice bridge. (Sandy Silver/Facebook)
Dawson City ice bridge opens

The Dawson ice bridge has opened. In a Jan. 6 social media… Continue reading

Whitehorse RCMP are requesting assistance identifying three suspects who stole tens of thousands of dollars of property from Cobalt Construction on the evenings of Dec. 28, 29, and 30. They were operating a stolen Toyota Camry, which was beige in colour with the license plate HML66. (Photo courtesy RCMP)
RCMP seeking three suspects after burglary

Whitehorse RCMP are requesting assistance identifying three suspects who stole tens of… Continue reading

Most Read