Convicted murderer Jeremy Whincup, previously deemed unfit to face legal action, is now well enough to undergo a mental health assessment to determine whether he should be found not criminally responsible, his lawyer told the court on Friday said.
Defense lawyer Jim Lutz asked Judge Willie deWit to order Whincup to undergo a 30-day assessment at the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Center to determine whether he was in a psychotic episode at the time of the murder. .
Lutz previously requested that Whincup undergo a mental health assessment to determine if he meets the criteria for a finding of not criminally responsible (NCR) due to a mental disorder.
But last month the barrister told the court that Whincup had been sent for a fitness assessment after concerns were raised about his ability to understand the legal process and instruct counsel.
Under the Criminal Code, a person who is mentally incompetent cannot be prosecuted unless and until they are deemed fit.
For a finding of NKR, a court would have to determine that due to a mental disorder he was unable to appreciate the nature and quality of his actions at the time of the offence.
Lutz asked for such an assessment after Judge Robert Hall found Whincup guilty of second-degree murder in the July 18, 2019, killing of convicted murderer Darrin Thomas Amond.
If not found criminally responsible, Whincup would likely to be committed to a mental hospital until deemed fit to return to the public.
Hall found Whincup had the victim with a steel pole near a bus shelter at the corner of 32nd Avenue and 36th Street NE in the middle of the afternoon.
Amond was previously convicted of manslaughter, but there was no connection between them kill by the attack by Whincup.
Whincup’s case comes back to court on January 20.
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