Guy Turcotte Murder Trial: Crown moves to rebut defence evidence

Guy Turcotte Murder Trial: Crown moves to rebut defence evidence

Main pic: Main pic: Guy Turcotte arrives at the courthouse in Saint Jerome, Que., Monday, September 14, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes.

SAINT-JEROME, Que. — A person suffering from an adjustment disorder doesn’t lose contact with reality, the ability to reflect or a sense of responsibility for his actions, a Crown witness has told the trial of a Quebec man accused of murdering his children.

Dr. Pierre Bleau did not examine Guy Turcotte but was called to the stand by the Crown on Tuesday as the first of three expert rebuttal witnesses to discuss certain notions involving mental health.

Turcotte’s defence team had presented two psychiatrists to the 11-member jury who testified that on the night the ex-doctor stabbed his two children to death in February 2009, he was suffering from an adjustment disorder and was in an anxious and depressed state.

Turcotte has pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder in the slayings of his son, Olivier, 5, and his daughter Anne-Sophie, 3.

He has admitted to causing their deaths, but his lawyers argue the 43-year-old former cardiologist should be found not criminally responsible by way of mental disorder.

Bleau said a person with adjustment disorder doesn’t necessarily have a sick mind — far from it. People with sick minds are those who suffer from an illness that biologically alters the brain, such as dementia, Bleau said.

The psychiatrist told the jury that while people with adjustment problems can suffer acutely, it doesn’t mean they aren’t in control of their actions.

He added psychiatrists estimate up to 15 per cent of the population have adjustment disorders — as frequent, Bleau said, as the percentage of people who have the common cold.

When asked about the defence’s claim that Turcotte was suicidal the night he killed his children, Bleau said that type of mental state is also not a sickness itself, but a symptom of one.

Turcotte’s defence rested its case on Tuesday morning and his lawyers were expected to cross-examine Bleau later Tuesday.

Stephanie Marin, The Canadian Press

Categories: News

About Author

Write a Comment

Only registered users can comment.