Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Man in Rapid City police standoff may not be fit to stand trial

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BRANDON -- A man accused of sparking a police standoff in Rapid City was hearing voices and talked of ghosts and being haunted, it’s alleged.

"I may have been taken over by a spirit," he allegedly told police following the incident.

Police were called to a domestic dispute at a home in Rapid City, a town south of Minnedosa, on the evening of Feb. 21.

Emergency workers found an injured woman walking nearby and she was taken to hospital.

Meanwhile, her husband remained in the home and police, concerned that he may have access to guns, cordoned off the area.

Ten homes were evacuated and the school closed as a precaution.

The standoff ended peacefully when a suspect was arrested around 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 22.

Details of the events surrounding the standoff were shared for the first time in court on Monday, as Crown attorney Jim Ross requested a psychiatric assessment for the accused.

Ross said the man had been struggling with mental health issues for the last year.

On May 24, 2012, he was voluntarily admitted to the Centre for Adult Psychiatry in Brandon. It was his third admission to CAP since early 2011.

While at CAP the third time, the man was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder and prescribed medication.

However, his wife says her husband stopped taking his medication in September.

The man then began to talk of ghosts, of something haunting him and of hearing voices.

At other times he’d speak of aliens and said that technology, such as the television and computer, needed to be shut off because the voices were coming through them.

At one point, he cut the power to the house so that he could get some "peace and quiet."

It’s alleged that, on the evening that the standoff began, the man woke up his wife in the middle of the night, pushed her out of bed, told her to go downstairs and wouldn’t let her return.

As she walked away, he hit her in the head with a metal detector, causing a wound that bled badly.

The wife fled to the garage and heard gunshots coming from within the house.

Following the standoff, police entered the home and found holes in the wall between the bathroom and bedroom caused by the pellets from a shotgun blast.

Ross said that, following his arrest, the suspect told police that he believed he may have been taken over by a spirit.

He’d shot at the mirror six times with a shotgun because that’s where the spirits would "show up" and he wanted to be rid of them.

Also in the home, police found nine rifles and shotguns, and a metal detector with blood on it.

In addition, they found hydroponic grow equipment and "cartoons" that showed people growing marijuana.

No marijuana plants were found, however, and the hydroponic equipment wasn’t in use.

The above allegations haven’t been proven in court.

Grant Andrew Lapierre, 34, is charged with assault with a weapon, careless use of a firearm and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

He disputes the allegations, and in court he repeatedly interrupted Ross.

"Wrong, wrong, wrong ... contempt of court!" he shouted at one point.

Judge Shauna Hewitt-Michta granted the psychiatric assessment and Lapierre remains in custody until his next court date on May 6.

A psychiatrist will give an opinion on whether Lapierre is fit to stand trial and whether he can be held criminally responsible.


-- Brandon Sun

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