Jurors at Guy Turcotte trial ask to hear some testimony again | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Jurors at Guy Turcotte trial ask to hear some testimony again

Guy Turcotte is followed into the courtroom by his parents to hear a question from the jury as they deliberate for the third day Wednesday, December 2, 2015 in Saint Jerome, Que. Turcotte is being retried for the murder of his two children. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
December 03, 2015 - 6:03 AM

SAINT-JEROME, Que. - The jurors at Guy Turcotte's murder trial began listening again Wednesday to testimony from a Crown psychiatrist who said people with an adjustment disorder such as the accused's don't lose the ability to be responsible for their actions.

Turcotte, 43, is charged with first-degree murder in the slayings of his children, Olivier, 5, and Anne-Sophie, 3, and has admitted to causing the 2009 stabbing deaths.

He has admitted to causing the deaths but his lawyer has argued the jury should find his client not criminally responsible by way of mental disorder.

The judge overseeing proceedings agreed to the jurors' request to hear the testimony of Pierre Bleau as they deliberated for a third day.

But Quebec Superior Court Justice Andre Vincent said they also had to listen to his cross-examination. The jurors did not reach a verdict by the end of the day and will resume their deliberations on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. eastern.

Bleau, who never evaluated Turcotte or the evidence in the case, was called as a Crown witness in October to explain certain issues dealing with mental health.

His testimony followed that of two defence psychiatrists who said Turcotte was in an anxious and depressed state the night he killed the children.

One defence witness testified that Turcotte's brain was "profoundly sick'' and wasn't working properly.

Bleau distanced himself from that opinion, saying people with sick minds are those who suffer from an illness that biologically alters the brain, such as dementia.

"To say that someone's brain is sick is a cliche that has often been used to sell medication,'' said Bleau.

He told the jury that while people with adjustment problems can suffer acutely, it doesn't mean they aren't in control of their actions.

He added that psychiatrists estimate up to 15 per cent of the population have such disorders — as frequent, Bleau said, as the percentage of people who have the common cold.

"Adjustment disorders are like the common cold of psychiatry,'' he told the jury. He said those types of disorders are often corrected by a handful of visits with a psychologist.

When asked about the defence's claim that Turcotte was suicidal the night he killed his children, Bleau said that type of mental state is also not a sickness itself, but a symptom of one.

The jurors began their deliberations Monday afternoon and can reach one of four possible verdicts: not criminally responsible by way of mental disorder or guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder or manslaughter.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2015
The Canadian Press

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