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This article was published 16/6/2014 (1102 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A mentally ill Manitoba man who suffocated his youngest sister should stay in a locked psychiatric ward for the foreseeable future, a justice official said Monday.
Kyle Bighetty's history of solvent abuse and his lack of insight into why he suddenly killed Skye Bighetty, 8, make him an extreme risk, Crown attorney Susan Helenchilde told a review board hearing in Winnipeg.
Bighetty, 21, was found to be in the throes of a psychotic delusion when he killed Skye in a basement room of his family's Pukatawagan home on June 29, 2013.
He was declared not criminally responsible at a court hearing in March and his fate was placed in the hands of the Criminal Code Review Board.
RCMP initially charged Bighetty with second-degree murder.
The review board will decide this week what plans they'll endorse for Bighetty's ongoing treatment, which must be balanced against protecting the public.
His act of suffocating his sister was "extremely serious and extremely concerning," Helenchilde said.
His history of solvent abuse is an added concern, the board was told.
It's unclear what influence this abuse had on his mental state at the time of Skye's death.
"Mr. Bighetty has an incredibly complicated and profound addiction that he needs to deal with," Helenchilde said.
Neither defence lawyer John Skinner nor forensic psychiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Waldman opposed her request for ongoing detention.
"I don't believe he should be unsupervised off the unit," Waldman said. "He still remains fairly high risk."
Bighetty, who has schizophrenia, was arrested shortly after a relative found him cradling Skye, who was unconscious, in his arms in the basement.
RCMP found a small bloodstain belonging to Skye on a mattress.
Police also found a handwritten list on the floor of Bighetty's bedroom.
The second item stated, "strangle sister," and had a check mark next to it, evidence presented at the March hearing showed.
Months after his arrest, Bighetty's mental health stabilized to the point he was able to make a formal statement. He told RCMP that prior to the killing, he'd been communicating with aliens through voices in his head and notes he was writing.
Bighetty told police he killed Skye to spare her the pain of being the last person left on Earth.
Family members noticed Bighetty had been "acting strangely" for weeks, sometimes talking and yelling at people who weren't there.
A psychologist's report suggests Bighetty's mental health declined dramatically in early 2013, after he was released from a short jail stay for setting a fire in an abandoned house.
Since Bighetty's transfer to the Selkirk Mental Health Centre in late May, there's been no evidence he's suffered psychotic symptoms, the review board heard.