October 30, 2015 - 2:24 PM
KAMLOOPS - A man who confessed to killing his ex-girlfriend and pleaded guilty will not be sentenced now that his lawyers have requested a hearing to determine if suffered from a mental illness at the time of the incident.
Christopher Frank Butler appeared in Kamloops Supreme Court today, Oct. 30 with two lawyers to request his guilty plea be retracted because he allegedly suffered from a mental disorder.
On Dec. 30, 2014, police found the body of Butler’s ex-girlfriend Deanne Wheeler in his ground-floor apartment on Cherry Avenue. He was arrested shortly afterward and in August, Butler confessed to killing Wheeler saying he believed she was a demon and pleaded guilty to his murder charge.
Up until now Butler represented himself in court.
Justice Keith Bracken called the application ‘unusual’ but noted Butler's guilty plea is on the court record along with a number of other comments he made in open court about killing Wheeler.
"Mr. Butler had raised sufficient comments and issues with respect to the (not criminally responsible because of a mental disorder) issue. When I recorded the plea, it was done fairly carefully to make sure Mr. Butler understood it,” he said.
Butler, wearing a large cross on a necklace, spent most of the hearing looking at the ceiling and blessed himself with the sign of the cross.
Bracken kept Butler’s guilty plea on record and there will be a hearing at a later date to determine Butler’s mental condition at the time of the offence. From there it will be decided if he is criminally responsible for the crime or not.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Glynn Brothen at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email email@example.com or call 250-718-2724.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015