VANCOUVER — Blair Donnelly, 64, faces three counts of aggravated assault over allegations he stabbed and injured three people at a Vancouver Chinatown festival on Sunday. Donnelly was free on day release from the forensic psychiatric hospital in Metro Vancouver. He was originally in care after being found not criminally responsible for the 2006 murder of his 16-year-old daughter.
Here’s a look at some other cases in which the finding was made or sought.
Matthew de Grood: Stabbed five young people to death in a Calgary house party in 2014. A judge found him not criminally responsible for the murders because he was suffering from schizophrenia.
Gregory Despres: Fatally stabbed two elderly neighbours in Minto, N.B., in 2005, decapitating one of them. Despres, a naturalized U.S. citizen, had crossed the border despite guards finding him with a small arsenal including a chainsaw, a sword and brass knuckles. He told them he was an assassin on a military mission. Three psychiatrists diagnosed him with paranoid schizophrenia. He was found not criminally responsible.
Elaine Campione: Drowned her daughters, who were three and 19 months, in a bathtub in 2006 during a custody battle with her ex-husband. Doctors diagnosed the Barrie, Ont., woman with unspecified psychosis, post-traumatic stress disorder from spousal abuse, depression and an eating disorder. But the Crown successfully argued her mental illness didn’t prevent her from knowing right from wrong. Campione was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no parole eligibility for 25 years.
Glen Race: Pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder of Trevor Brewster and second-degree murder of Paul Michael Knott. Race suffered from schizophrenia and was not taking his medicine in May 2007 when he lured the Halifax men to their deaths. Court was told Race believed he was a vampire slayer and a godlike entity at the time of the killings. He was found not criminally responsible, based on a joint recommendation from the Crown and the defence.
Allan Schoenborn: Killed his three children, who were 10, eight and five, in Merritt, B.C., in April 2008. Schoenborn was diagnosed with delusional disorder and said he killed the children to protect them from an imagined threat of sexual abuse. He was found not criminally responsible and has been granted eligibility at the psychiatric hospital for unescorted leave in the community.
Vincent Li: Fatally stabbed and beheaded Tim McLean, a young man who was sleeping next to him on a Greyhound bus in Manitoba in July 2008. Li told a mental-health advocate he heard the voice of God telling him McLean was an alien whom he needed to destroy. Li was found not criminally responsible and was sent to the Selkirk Mental Health Centre. He saw his privileges expand slowly until February 2016 when Li, now known as Will Baker, won the right to eventually move out of a group home and live on his own.
Francis Proulx: Shot Nancy Michaud, an aide to a Quebec cabinet minister, in the head after taking her hostage in 2008 while her two children slept. He took credit cards and banking information and had sex with her corpse. During his trial, he argued he had been on medication at the time and was not criminally responsible because of a mental issue. However, he was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.
Guy Turcotte: Fatally stabbed his three-year-old daughter and five-year-old son in 2009. The Quebec cardiologist was found not criminally responsible and was sent to a psychiatric hospital in Montreal and released in December 2012. An Appeal Court overturned the verdict. In 2015, Turcotte was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 17 years.
Kimberly Noyes: Told police in 2009 that she had killed a 12-year-old autistic boy with a knife. Noyes, from Grand Forks, B.C., was found not criminally responsible for John Fulton’s death. Medical experts testified that she was bipolar and severely depressed, had gone off her medication and was hearing voices.
Miloslav Kapsik: Bludgeoned his wife to death with a hammer, hitting her more than 100 times while they were watching a hockey game in 2010. Court was told he had been hearing voices. Medical records showed the Winnipeg man was first diagnosed with severe depression in 2003. The defence’s attempt to argue he was not criminally responsible was unsuccessful. He is serving a life sentence for second-degree murder, with no eligibility for parole for 10 years.
Luka Rocco Magnotta: Killed and dismembered Chinese exchange student Jun Lin in May 2012. Experts testified Magnotta is schizophrenic and was psychotic and out of touch with reality the night of the murder. The prosecution said Magnotta had made a promise several months earlier to take the life of a human being. He was found guilty of first-degree murder.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 12, 2023.
The Canadian Press