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Kapsik guilty of second-degree murder

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A jury rejected a mental-illness defence and found Miloslav Kapsik guity of second-degree murder.

The jury brought in its verdict Tuesday night, following a day of deliberation.

Kapsik remained emotionless as the verdict was read, much as he had throughout his trial.

Kapsik, 63, had admitted to the March 2010 brutal slaying of his wife, Ludmila, 59, but asked the jury to find him not criminally responsible on the grounds he was suffering from a major mental illness and could not control or appreciate his violent actions.

The couple had been married for 36 years and there was no known previous history of domestic violence.

Formal sentencing will take place Friday. The only question remains how long Kapsik must serve behind bars before he is eligible for parole.

Defence counsel Greg Brodsky said it appeared the jury had more confidence in the parole board determining when Kapsik is fit to be released, rather than a medical review board, which would have decided his fate had he been found not criminally responsible.

On the night of the killing, Kapsik and his wife were watching a hockey game in their Jefferson Avenue apartment when he got up, picked up a hammer from a storage room and attacked his wife from behind. He struck her 57 times, even as she tried to crawl away from him.

After the attack, Kapsik admitted he washed his wife’s blood from his hands and face, changed his clothes and sat on his couch for about an hour before calling 911, and then telling the operator, "I hurt my wife, send the police."

When questioned by police, Kapsik offered no explanation for his actions. He did not testify at his trial.

Medical records showed Kapsik was first diagnosed with severe depression in 2003. He gave up his job as a bus driver because he was unable to cope with the pressures associated with the work.

Medical expert Dr. Giovana Levin told jurors Kapsik suffered from "major depression and psychotic features" at the time of the attack. Levin, a forensic psychiatrist at Health Sciences Centre, spent months working closely with Kapsik following his arrest. She said he was experiencing sleep deprivation and suicidal thoughts and was hearing voices.

Crown prosecutor Nicole Roch challenged Levin’s diagnosis, suggesting she had lost her objectivity after spending so much time with him.

The Kapsiks had moved to Canada from the Czech Republic and had no children.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

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