Accused in slayings had walked away from Crisis Response Centre: court documents
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 29/11/2022 (189 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Within three hours of walking out the front doors of a psychiatric clinical treatment centre in Winnipeg where he had been an involuntary patient, a man allegedly went on a stabbing spree which left his parents dead and a co-worker in critical condition.
Trevor Robert Farley, 39, has been charged with first-degree murder in the killing of 73-year-old Judy Swain of New Bothwell, second-degree murder for the slaying of Stuart Farley, 73, of Winnipeg, and attempted murder in the stabbing of Seven Oaks General Hospital nursing supervisor Candyce Szkwarek.
All three attacks occurred shortly after Farley left the Mental Health Crisis Response Centre on Bannatyne Avenue before noon on Oct. 27, 2021.
Farley, who was employed as a registered nurse at Seven Oaks, had voluntarily gone to the centre the day before, seeking help. A doctor had assessed him the morning of Oct. 27 as needing to be kept as an involuntary patient. Paperwork was completed. However, Farley walked away from the unlocked facility.
These details, and more, are contained in an affidavit filed in court the next day by Winnipeg Police Service Sgt. Ravi Misir, asking a judge to grant permission for officers to search for evidence inside 612 Home St. and 310 Toronto St. (Farley’s residence and his father’s home, respectively).
None of the allegations or charges have been proven in court.
A judge agreed to a police request to seal the order to prevent members of the public from reading it during the investigation. That order expired Oct. 26.
The court document details how police arrived at the respective residences of Farley’s parents only to find their bodies, and had just located the suspect’s vehicle in the parking lot of Seven Oaks when officers reported a man with a knife chasing a woman just before 2:30 p.m.
The man dropped the knife when he saw the officers and immediately surrendered to them, the documents say.
A Shared Health spokesman said people are not under involuntary status when they enter the Crisis Response Centre, but can be placed in such status after being assessed.
“If staff believe the person is at high risk to leave the CRC, and there is a likelihood of them harming themselves or others, they are typically moved to a locked secure room under constant observation where ongoing staff support is provided,” he said.
“The CRC is not a locked facility, so it is possible for individuals to leave unless in a locked secure room. If an individual leaves CRC, while under involuntary status on a Form 4 (assessment), police are notified to find the person and transport them to the emergency department.”
In the document, Misir said Farley’s ex-wife, who was married for 12 years, told officers he had struggled with mental illness for four years.
The woman told officers she had gone with Farley to the Crisis Response Centre the week before, but they left because no bed was available. They then tried to get him examined at Health Sciences Centre, before seeing a doctor at St. Boniface Hospital, who prescribed him some type of medication.
She said on the day of the stabbings she spoke to Farley on the phone at about 10:30 a.m., missed a call from him at 10:45 a.m., and tried to get hold of him at 12:10 p.m. About a half-hour later, she called his mother in New Bothwell, about 15 kilometres northwest of Steinbach.
“The conversation came to an end, abruptly, when (the mother) began screaming and calling out Farley’s name,” the officer wrote. “RCMP were dispatched to Swain’s residence… and found Swain deceased, with multiple injuries.”
The woman had suffered so much head and facial trauma, she was reportedly unrecognizable.
The RCMP then asked Farley’s telecom provider to “ping” his cellphone, so they could get his approximate location. Mounties contacted Winnipeg police when they realized he was somewhere near Seven Oaks, the documents say.
Meanwhile, RCMP officers went to the city home of Stuart Farley. They reported seeing, through a window, an elderly man sitting on a chair.
“(Stuart) Farley did not rise from his chair when officers knocked at the door,” Misir wrote. “Officers decided to enter the residence through the unlocked front door and found S. Farley deceased with two apparent stab wounds in his chest and stomach.”
Two knives were reportedly located beside the man’s body.
Shortly after, Winnipeg police officers had just located the suspect’s unoccupied car in the Seven Oaks parking lot when they “noticed some commotion… They saw a male matching the description of Farley holding what appeared to be a knife… chasing after a female.”
Inside the hospital, officers found Szkwarek in critical condition after being stabbed 14 times. She was rushed to the hospital’s resuscitation room at 2:25 p.m., before being taken to HSC at 4 p.m.
Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.
Updated on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 12:09 PM CST: Adds missing word