Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Second Psychiatrist Tells Magnotta Murder Trial Accused Was in Psychotic State

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Second Psychiatrist Tells Magnotta Murder Trial Accused Was in Psychotic State

Article excerpt

Defence witness says Magnotta was in psychotic state


MONTREAL - A second forensic psychiatrist who assessed Luka Rocco Magnotta's criminal responsibility said Friday he concluded the accused was suffering a schizophrenia-linked psychotic episode when he killed and dismembered Jun Lin.

Defence witness Joel Watts testified that an exhaustive look at the evidence and Magnotta's medical history led him to believe that while the accused was aware of his actions, he could not differentiate right from wrong.

Magnotta has admitted to killing Lin in May 2012, but has pleaded not guilty by way of mental disorder.

The Crown contends the slaying was planned and deliberate.

Watts' assessment is similar to that of another psychiatrist hired by the defence. Marie-Frederique Allard testified previously that Magnotta's schizophrenia was out of control in May 2012.

Watts met with Magnotta face-to-face over 38 hours between September 2012 and September 2013. He spoke to relatives and one friend and also saw Magnotta for a few hours last month.

"My opinion regarding Mr. Magnotta's mental state at the time ... is that he was suffering from an acute episode of psychosis," Watts said.

"He suffers from schizophrenia and on those days (in May 2012), he was suffering from an acute psychotic break of that schizophrenia."

Watts said the psychosis is linked to each of the five charges against Magnotta: first-degree murder; criminally harassing Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other members of Parliament; mailing obscene and indecent material; committing an indignity to a body; and publishing obscene materials.

"Despite Mr. Magnotta's psychotic episode on those dates, my opinion was he was able to appreciate physically what he was doing and the consequences of what he was doing," Watts added.

"For each of his charges, I do not think he knew it was wrong, due to his psychosis."

That wasn't his initial impression.

Watts first met Magnotta when he travelled with Montreal police detectives to Berlin for his arrest in June 2012. …

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