Accused murderer Thomas Chan’s fate in hands of judge – Peterborough

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In Thomas Chan’s murder trial that began in September, both the Crown and his defence lawyers have not disputed whether he stabbed his father Dr. Andrew Chan or if he was the one wielding the knife on the night of Dec. 28, 2015.

Now, it’s up to a judge to decide if the 23-year-old should be held criminally responsible for Dr. Chan’s death.

Thomas Chan has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, attempted murder and aggravated assault. His judge-alone trial began in Superior Court in September.

Peterborough police found Dr. Chan’s body in the kitchen of his Haggis Drive home shortly after 3 a.m. According to police, Dr. Chan’s partner, Lynn Witteveen, was found in the master bedroom. She had been stabbed multiple times and was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.


READ MORE:
Friends of Thomas Chan testify in murder trial about night his father died

Thomas’ mother and sister both told the court that he had a good relationship with his father, and saw both Dr. Chan and Witteveen several times during the holidays.

On the night of the alleged attack, Thomas was hanging out with friends. At some point, the group decided to buy and take magic mushrooms, also known as psilocybin. Court heard that Thomas took a second dose because he wasn’t feeling the effects of the mushrooms that his friends were experiencing.

Hours later, Thomas began yelling and ranting about religion. Court heard he referred to himself as God, and called both his mother and sister, “devils.”

Shortly before 3 a.m., he left his mother’s home and ran to his father’s house. He broke into the home, and allegedly stabbed Dr. Chan to death with a kitchen knife.

Witteveen was one of the Crown’s witnesses. She lost an eye in the alleged attack, was stabbed in the abdomen multiple times and one knife wound to the neck was so deep that it nicked her spine. She told court she will have to deal with the lingering effects of the attack for the rest of her life.


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‘And he stabbed him…and I just stood there’: Lynn Witteveen testifies at Thomas Chan murder trial

Court heard that Chan suffered multiple concussions when he was in his teens while playing rugby at Lakefield College school. Those injuries put an early end to his athletic career.

Witnesses testified that it sent Thomas into a downward spiral, and he suffered from depression and began using marijuana heavily as a result.

Thomas’s lawyers, Dave McFadden and Joleen Hiland, argue that Thomas’ previous brain injuries plus the magic mushrooms put Thomas in a psychotic state that qualifies as a disease of the mind.

During Thursday’s closing arguments, they argued that Thomas couldn’t appreciate or understand the consequences of his actions on the night in question.


READ MORE:
Accused murderer Thomas Chan was yelling ‘I’m God’ on night of arrest, police testify

The Crown agreed the magic mushrooms played a role in what happened that night, but argued that doesn’t mean Thomas shouldn’t be held accountable for his actions.

Thomas knew that magic mushrooms cause hallucinations, Crown attorney Andrew Midwood said, willingly took them and even took a second dose. Midwood said Thomas then isolated himself and began to meditate to deepen the effects of the drugs.

The result, Midwood said, is now before the court.

“I can scarcely imagine Dr. Andrew Chan’s and Lynn Witteveen’s terror at being so savagely attacked by a loved one in their home in the middle of the night,” Midwood said.

The judge is expected to deliver his verdict on Dec. 6.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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After 25 years behind bars, parole denied for convicted rapist, murderer Bernardo – Kingston

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Convicted rapist and murderer Paul Bernardo has been behind bars for 25 years, and on October 17th, a two-person board denied the now 54-year-old parole.


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Board says Bernardo denied parole due to ‘lack of insight’ into his own crimes

The parole board said during the hearing that Bernardo showed a “lack of insight” into his crimes, focusing mainly on his anxiety disorder and his lack of self-esteem in an attempt to explain his behaviour. The report went on to say that in the board’s opinion, Bernardo used self-diagnosis throughout the hearing as a ‘mantra’ to dissociate himself from his actions.

WATCH: Lawyer for Bernardo victims’ families says he’s a ‘psychopath’






The board heard statements from the mothers of two murder victims and one of his rape victims. Bernardo admitted during the hearing that he is a very flawed person who had done dreadful things, but claimed he would never re-offend if released.

“I’m so nice to everybody,” Bernardo said.


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Bernardo parole hearing told of ‘crushing and debilitating’ impacts on victims, families

During the parole hearing Bernardo went on to say that there is no reason to fear him.

Over the past 25 years,  the board said Bernardo has behaved appropriately, but said he goes to great lengths to prove his point. “The board questions your ability to be challenged, which in turn impedes the process of change,” it said.

The board added that in May, 2018, Bernardo underwent an physiological assessment and at times spoke in the third person. The board determined that he presents an undue risk to society were he to be released.


READ MORE:
Convicted rapist and killer Paul Bernardo denied parole

Bernardo is eligible for parole again in two years.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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