Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Guilty of murder, not ill: jury

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A jury has rejected a mental-illness defence and found a Winnipeg man guilty of the second-degree murder of his wife, who he attacked from behind with a hammer.

The verdict was announced Tuesday night, following a day of deliberations.

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

Kapsik, 63, had pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder for the March 2010 slaying of his wife, Ludmila, 59, but asked the jury to find him not criminally responsible, on the grounds that 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 for hours, 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 that Kapsik suffered from "major depression and psychotic features" at the time of the attack.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 13, 2013 A5

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