Court has heard that three people involved in a bizarre naked kidnapping case south of Edmonton last year suffered from a rare, shared psychotic disorder.
A courtroom in Leduc was packed with supporters as a judge heard a joint recommendation from lawyers for a conditional sentence.
Court has heard the group was not affected by alcohol or drugs but believed it was the end of the world and wanted to save their neighbours when they forced them from their home last November.
Two women and one man, who cannot be identified under a publication ban, earlier pleaded guilty to unlawful confinement.
One of the women, the only one dressed at the time of the kidnapping, also pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.
Her teenage daughters were also arrested but not charged.
Strange things happened
An agreed statement of facts says the group, who are Jehovah’s Witnesses, had gathered at a home near Leduc on Nov. 2, 1017.
The mother, who was then 35, had taken her daughters there to visit her 27-year old nephew and his 30-year old wife.
Strange things happened over the next three days.
The group didn’t leave the house and barely ate any food. One of the teens heard screaming and banging and saw ashes in the air.
Some of the people hid in a bedroom or bathroom because they believed they were in danger from wicked people or demons.
They also believed that the Great Tribulation had happened and Nov. 6 would be Armageddon. So they rushed off to find safety and save a neighbouring family.
But four who were naked didn’t have time to put clothes on.
« They had to leave right away because it was unsafe, » said the court document.
They were in such a hurry that after piling into a BMW SUV, they drove through the garage door.
Chant « Jehovah » 10 times
They then forced the neighbours — a man, his adult daughter and her six-week-old son — out of their house and into the snow without shoes.
The woman and her baby were put in the back seat of the SUV and the man was put in the trunk.
He was ordered to chant « Jehovah » 10 times and the group also chanted « Jehovah » as the vehicle sped down roads and through a red light on the way to nearby Nisku.
The man in the trunk was able to jump out when the vehicle slowed, because the trunk’s latch hadn’t shut properly.
His daughter was also able to get out with her child, although her hand was slammed in the door as she made the attempt.
A passing truck stopped to help the family and they climbed inside. But the SUV then rammed the truck from behind.
The woman and her baby were thrown into the truck’s dash but not injured. The SUV then went into a ditch.
When RCMP arrived, the group were chanting and refusing to get out of the vehicle. They clung to each other and the SUV.
One of the teens believed the police « were monsters who would kill them, » said the document.
Officers said the group displayed extreme strength. Two were pepper sprayed but seemed unaffected. The three adults were also shot with Tasers several times.
One also slid under the SUV and had to be dragged out with a strap.
The neighbours later told Mounties the group seems « demonized » and « obviously not in their right minds. »