Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Brandon teen killer psychotic, court told

Wasn't criminally responsible: judge

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BRANDON -- A boy who fatally stabbed a teen in a Brandon apartment has been found not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder.

A psychiatrist concluded the 16-year-old killer was in the midst of an intense psychotic episode at the time of the March 11 slaying and couldn't tell right from wrong.

He was having hallucinations and delusions for days leading up to the killing.

"When he killed Terrance Mink (the killer) was sick. He was mentally ill," Crown attorney Jim Ross said in Brandon provincial court on Tuesday as he shared previously unreleased details of the stabbing.

During Tuesday's hearing, the now 17-year-old admitted he killed 18-year-old Mink by stabbing him in the chest.

He was charged with second-degree murder but, based on the evidence and a psychiatric assessment, Judge Donovan Dvorak ruled the killer not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder.

Ross described how, just after midnight on March 11, police were called to an apartment building.

Mink was lying on the floor near the kitchen, unconscious and with a faint pulse. There was a 13.5-cm-deep knife wound to his chest. Paramedics couldn't revive Mink and he was pronounced dead at hospital around 1 a.m.

The teen suspect seemed disoriented, and when police spoke to him he would moan or was incoherent and didn't seem to understand what he was told.

Police decided the youth should go to hospital, but he put up a fight and it took three officers to wrestle him into a car.

A psychiatrist at the hospital suspected psychosis and, based on a report the boy had taken pills, the teen was initially diagnosed with drug-induced psychosis.

Ross told court the boy's blood was tested but only traces of marijuana and an antidepressant were found in his system. There was no alcohol and no drug that would have caused the psychosis, despite initial suspicions.

There's no evidence Mink and his killer knew each other prior to the stabbing and they wound up in the same apartment by chance.

The killer is from South Indian Lake and was in Brandon to visit his ailing grandmother. Mink lived in Brandon with his father and sister.

On Tuesday, Ross told court Mink wound up at the apartment of his killer's aunt. Mink used to live across the street, paid the woman a visit and she fed him as he seemed hungry.

The killer's aunt told authorities Mink stayed awhile and at one point went to the kitchen followed by her nephew.

She couldn't see what happened next but heard Mink exclaim, "He stabbed me!" as he walked out of the kitchen and collapsed onto the floor.

The province's Criminal Code review board will hold a hearing within 90 days to determine the youth's fate, and he'll remain in custody as he awaits its decision.

-- Brandon Sun

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 21, 2013 A5

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