March 17, 2015 - 12:23 PM
KAMLOOPS – A man accused of killing a woman in a Cherry Avenue apartment last year will get a psychiatric evaluation before trial after he told a Kamloops provincial court judge there’s “nothing on the law books for slaughtering a demon” at a hearing Tuesday morning.
Christopher Frank Butler appeared on his own behalf when he told Judge Roy Dickey he doesn’t believe he should be charged with murder because of a mental disorder.
On Dec. 30 last year, Deanne Wheeler, 26, was found dead in Butler’s North Shore apartment.
“I would like to apply for a psych evaluation," Butler said. "I’ve gone through the law book. It addresses the fact of witchcraft, sorcery and enchantment. That is the grounds for my case. What happened in that apartment.“
Dickey cut Butler off several times throughout the hearing to remind the accused to be cautious of his disclosure.
“Anything you say is being recorded. Anything you say can be used against you. You need to be very careful with what you say at this point and time,” he said.
“I went to the police right away,“ Butler said. “I’ve looked at this case, I looked at jury, all my options and a (not-criminally-responsible defence) is what I’ve come up with.”
Butler described his struggles with bipolar disorder and said he was not “on narcotics” at the time of the event. He said he was convinced he killed a demon and said so to police after his arrest.
“It was a demon. I said that from the start,” he said. “There’s nothing on the law books for this so what am I to do?”
The accused then gestured towards the coat of arms above Dickey and claimed he was the lion.
Dickey asked Butler if he understood what was happening in court, explaining his role as well as all the individual players in the room. Butler said he understood.
Crown prosecutor Alex Janse seemed convinced Butler was mentally fit to stand trial.
“I don’t think this is an issue. He does understand who you are, who I am, who his defense lawyer was and the process that’s going on. I don’t think that’s an issue in my humble opinion,” she said.
Janse said Butler could not claim mental illness as a defence if he wouldn’t admit to committing the crime. Dickey asked for her to present the argument with more information at a future hearing.
In the meantime, Dickey ordered for Butler’s psychiatric evaluation.
Jay Michi was present in the courtroom to represent the law firm Butler dismissed. At one point he requested Dickey stand the court down so he could speak to his firm’s potential client but was denied.
“We’ll get the psych evaluation and I’ll get back to you,” Butler told Michi.
Butler is due back in court April 16 to hear results of the assessment which will determine if he will stand trial.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015