Adele Sorella, charged with killing daughters, awaits psychiatric assessment?

The case of a Laval woman charged with murdering her two young daughters three years ago will not go to trial until 2013, a Superior Court judge has decided. Adele Sorella, 46, has yet to be evaluated by a psychiatrist in preparation for a trial that is expected to last six to eight weeks, and remains free on bail.

During a hearing Sorella’s lawyer Pierre Poupart informed Justice André Vincent that he could not provide an estimate on when her psychiatric evaluation will be ready. Poupart, the lawyer who represented Guy Turcotte in a trial last year where the doctor was found not criminally responsible of killing his son and daughter, said he expected to be ready for a trial early in 2013.

Sorella was arrested April 1, 2009, after Laval police found the bodies of her two daughters, Sabrina, 8, and Amanda, 9, inside the family’s home in Laval’s Duvernay district.

Vincent said not having an evaluation on-hand complicated setting a trial schedule for this year because the prosecution might seek a second opinion after it is completed. “I can set a trial date today but if I do set aside six to eight weeks it could be for nothing. It could prevent other people from having trials (later this year),” Vincent said.

Sounding impatient, prosecutor Isabelle Briand noted that Sorella, who is out on bail, was arrested three years ago and the Crown has been ready to proceed with a trial since September 2011. She said the prosecution plans to present 25 witnesses in all.

Poupart also succeeded in having one of Sorella’s bail conditions changed to allow her to travel outside of Quebec. Poupart said the change was necessary to allow her to be evaluated by a psychiatrist based in Ontario.

Vincent set April 1, 2013 as the start of Sorella’s trial. This is ridiculous and makes a mockery of justice!

Second time a murder has occurred at Clifton T. Perkins Hospital… only in America maybe

Is it really possible to securely and safely release someone into the community, mere months after they brutally murder someone, as has happened in a number of recent cases in Canada?

For the second time in a little over a year a murder has occurred at Clifton T. Perkins Hospital, a maximum security facility for the criminally insane located in Jessup Maryland.

Twenty four year old Vitaly Davydov from Montgomery County has been charged with murder in the beating death of his roommate 22 year old David Rico-Noyola from Anne Arundel County. Vitaly who suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder had been at the facility ever since he fatally beat his psychiatrist in his Bethesda office in September of 2006.

In 2007 Vitally was found not criminally responsible for the killing because of severe mental illness and was ordered to the hospital until he was determined to no longer be a threat to anyone.

David had been at the hospital since August of 2008 after the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene labeled him incompetent to stand trial for the beating death of his mother 48 year old Ofelia Noyola – Monrroy. He had been scheduled for another competency hearing next month.

This story may have happened in America but it is still a stark reminder of the challenges faced when treating persons with severe cases of mental illness. Some may argue that treatment methods vary between facilities and the severity of the mental illness can differ greatly between individuals. Valid point in some cases maybe.

It would be interesting to have a dialogue with individuals dealing with the mental health community. Hearing their concerns, and comments in regards to areas that are lacking in the Canadian Mental Health establishment is a place to start.

Etienne Beaulieu was treated in hospital just days before he killed his mother

On August 4, 2010, suffering from severe and intense delusions, Etienne Beaulieu believed that a young woman was trapped inside the body of his mother, 49-year-old Isabelle Robitaille. Etienne Beaulieu killed his mother to free that young woman the court has heard.

The agreed statement of facts that was presented to the court. The Crown is not contesting any of the evidence:

-The Court heard Beaulieu’s family had been concerned about the Etienne deteriorating mental health for months.

-Beaulieu was seeing a psychiatrist and spent a few days in the hospital at the end of July, just days before he attacked his mother.

-On Aug. 4, 2010, Beaulieu was home alone with his mother at their Bissonnette St. home. Beaulieu hit his mother twice over the head with a baseball bat, then dragged her down a set of stairs. Etienne Beaulieu stabbed his mother in the neck and the stomach.

-The rest of Beaulieu’s family, his father and sister, returned to the house at 6 p.m. and discovered the horrific scene.

-Robitaille, a French immersion teacher at Prince of Wales Public School, died of her injuries at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre.

Local press has stated ”Beaulieu’s defense team has argued his mental illness was so severe he could not comprehend the repercussions of his act.”

The outcome of this hearing is a foregone conclusion. Decided long before the judge hands down the decision she is bound to deliver, Etienne Beaulieu will be found “not criminally responsible” in the killing his mother.

Dr. Gary Chaimowitz, a psychiatrist who examined Beaulieu in May, testified that Beaulieu was suffering from intense and aggravating delusions that day, and in his deteriorating mental state, Beaulieu believed another person was trapped inside the body he saw in front of him. Chaimowitz also testified Beaulieu had a “major psychiatric disorder”, but didn’t offer a formal diagnosis to the court. He testified Beaulieu could be suffering from schizophrenia. His symptoms included paranoid and bizarre delusions including the illusion that he was being persecuted.

The psychiatrist believed Beaulieu had suffered from these delusions for years before the attack. That Beaulieu was unable to distinguish right from wrong that day. “His disorder was so intense, so active, he could not appreciate the consequences of his actions,” Chaimowitz testified.

Chaimowitz testified that although Beaulieu’s state has improved since arrest, and he continues to improve each day, he does still pose a risk to the community. Chaimowitz then adds the risk could be managed with treatment, hospitalization and supervision.

As has been so often in the past, the only argument clearly heard in the Whitby courtroom is that a family struggling with the effects of mental illness sought help. And as so often is the case, it is only after disaster has struck, and life has been forever altered, that a psychiatric community offers a message of hope. “The risk can be managed with treatment” they say.

If that is true, then what types of intervention and care should have been implemented before August 4, 2010. Society needs to question why treatments were not successful. Isabelle Robitaille is dead. Her family torn apart. Etienne Beaulieu is not criminally responsible. The cost is immeasurable, and yet nobody pays.

And the crown sits quietly, patting themselves on the back for a job well done.

Doctors have determined Layne Bobby Dean Larose is not a threat

Layne Bobby Dean Larose CBC News is reporting that Layne Bobby Dean Larose who was found not criminally responsible in the murder of David Kennedy and Hughie Sayers will be released in Saskatoon. Larose murdered David Kennedy and Hughie Sayers in an axe attack in 2002 in North Battleford. The house they were in was then set on fire.

In 2004, North Battleford Queen’s Bench Justice Donald Krueger found Larose to be not criminally responsible for his actions because of a mental illness.According to evidence from a psychiatrist, Larose suffered from a chronic paranoid schizophrenic illness.

Doctors have determined that Larose no longer poses a threat and he has been slowly reintegrated back into society. Larose will have to report to a mental health worker and live in a group home.

Judge says: 12 year old killer is a low risk. Getting set free

Well not totally free. In November JR will be required to live at an Alberta residence approved by her probation officer, report to authorities once a week and notify her probation officer if she moves. She will be under a daily curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., continue with her treatments and not use illicit substances or have any weapons. A peace officer or probation officer will monitor JR’s use of social networking sites. J.R.’s sentence will be reviewed again next March.

The  Albertan teen killed her parents and younger brother when she was 12  but is a low risk for future violence and will be allowed to live in the community, a judge decided at her sentence review. The girl (JR) and her then-boyfriend Jeremy Steinke, who was 23,  murdered her parents and eight-year-old brother at the family’s Medicine Hat, Alta. home in 2006.

JR was found guilty of three counts of first degree murder. She was not declared “Not CriminallyResponsible” So why is she on Tim’s Law?

JR began her 10-year-sentence at a psychiatric hospital.

“The latest psychologist report shows the girl is cooperating fully with staff within the treatment program. The girl has displayed “exemplary behaviour. You are entering into a new phase in your program which is integration into the community. I’m sure it will not be particularly easy for you having been in a custodial setting,” Judge Brooker said Tuesday

At the end of the hearing J.R. spoke about her treatment. “I’m very grateful … it has really helped me to grow,” she said.

The Canadian judicial system like to protects killers. Killers like JR, Alan Schoenborn and Vincent Li. But who protects the public from killers like them?  Read more about “JR” here