A man has been found not criminally responsible after a stabbing that left one person dead and another with life-threatening wounds in Quesnel more than three years ago.
During a hearing at B.C. Supreme Court in Prince George on Monday, Dec. 6, Kristopher Edward Leclair was ordered to be confined at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam.
“I am satisfied that Mr. Leclair had schizophrenia,” said Justice Martha Devlin.
“Although I accept that his substance use could have exacerbated his psychotic symptoms… I do not accept that his drug use caused his psychosis.”
The Crown prosecutor and defence each brought forensic psychiatrists to testify at trial. Both expert witnesses said it hard to to distinguish between psychotic illnesses and substance-induced psychosis.
Devlin said she was satisfied Leclair’s psychiatric history and drug use meant recurring violence was likely.
Leclair, now 35, turned himself into Quesnel RCMP hours after the stabbing incident on July 21, 2018. He went on to be charged with the attempted murder of his aunt, Sharon Tobin, and the second-degree murder of her husband, Michael Potter.
Defence presented a journal Leclair wrote in the years before the stabbing, where his delusions of being followed and tracked were outlined.
In addition to a history of alcohol and drug use, the court heard how Leclair’s family has a history of schizophrenia. He was admitted to GR Baker Hospital multiple times, and was apprehended under the Mental Health Act. He was diagnosed with drug-induced psychosis and prescribed an anti-psychotic drug.
Once, after being discharged from the hospital, he went to the Quesnel RCMP detachment and asked to be arrested, telling an officer he “would admit to any crime as he wanted to go to jail and be locked up for a long time.”
Leclair had attended addictions treatment in Prince George and had graduated from a welding program at the College of New Caledonia in 2018.
“I am mindful that this decision will not possibly remedy the feeling of pain and suffering you have endured and will continue to endure due to the horrible events that unfolded that evening, which resulted in the loss of Michael Potter and the vicious attack on Sharon Tobin,” Devlin said.
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