Guy Turcotte Murder Trial: Anxious, suicidal after arrest, says psychiatrist

Guy Turcotte Murder Trial: Anxious, suicidal after arrest, says psychiatrist

Main pic: Guy Turcotte arrives at the courthouse Monday, September 28, 2015 in Saint Jerome, Que. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz.

Psychiatrist tells Guy Turcotte’s trial he was anxious, suicidal after arrest.

SAINT-JEROME, Que. — The first psychiatrist to see Guy Turcotte after his arrest and transfer to a mental hospital in 2009 says he was suicidal and suffering from an anxiety adjustment disorder.

Jacques Talbot told Turcotte’s trial on Monday he met with the accused six days after the slayings of his son Olivier, 5, and daughter Anne-Sophie, 3.

Talbot says he diagnosed him as anxious, emotional and in a state of depression requiring medication for anxiety and insomnia.

Turcotte, 43, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder in the slayings of the two children in February 2009.

He has admitted to causing their deaths but his lawyers are arguing he should be found not criminally responsible by way of mental disorder.

Talbot said he saw Turcotte over a 152-day period beginning Feb. 26, 2009, about six days after the children were killed.

On Feb. 27 — one week after the slayings — Talbot said Turcotte had reached a sort of breaking point and couldn’t live anymore and wanted to commit suicide.

He noted he couldn’t do it while at the Pinel Institute, a Montreal psychiatric hospital, but didn’t rule out eventually killing himself.

Talbot described Turcotte as trying to insulate himself from his emotions. People do this, the psychiatrist explained, as a defence mechanism when one’s emotions are simply too much to bare.

Turcotte began to immerse himself in complicated literature and penned a list of specific items to recover from the home where the slayings took place, including a sack of potatoes, a compact disc and a pepper mill.

“He created an emotional barrier,” Talbot said, adding he didn’t think Turcotte was trying to deceive, but reflecting his reality.

“This is someone who knew to, or was forced to, contain their emotions,” Talbot added, noting his patient showed obsessive and narcissistic personality traits.

One of the questions Turcotte asked at the beginning of his hospitalization was whether his children were really dead.

Talbot confirmed what Turcotte has said, that much of his memories of Feb. 20, 2009 were scattered and he only remembered flashes.

In March 2009, Turcotte was still angry at his now ex-wife, Isabelle Gaston, over her infidelity. In April 2009, the suicidal thoughts were still present. One month later, he said his “life is over” and that “death would better.”

Turcotte told the psychiatrist he deserved to suffer and was surprised at the support from his own family and the friendliness of staff at the institute.

The trial will resume on Wednesday.

Stephanie Marin, The Canadian Press

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