Murder suspect, 94, to undergo mental assessment


By Jenna Cocullo, Local Journalism Initiative

A Chatham judge ordered a Wallaceburg man accused of second-degree murder in the death of his wife to undergo a mental assessment to determine whether he’s fit to stand trial or criminally responsible.

A 94-year-old Wallaceburg man was arrested and charged on Dec. 26 after Chatham-Kent police found his 89-year-old wife without vital signs at their apartment. She died on scene, according to previously published reports.

Due to a publication ban, the man’s name cannot be released in order to protect the identity of the victim. The man appeared in court on Friday via teleconference from South West Detention Centre, Windsor, where he is currently in custody.

Lawyer Greg McGivern requested that the court order a mental assessment under S. 672.11 of the Criminal Code. The purpose is to determine if the accused is unfit to stand trial or whether the accused was, at the time of the commission of the alleged offence, suffering from a mental disorder so as to be exempt from criminal responsibility.

McGivern told the judge that given the seriousness of the accusations, he was requesting that the order be in force for 30 days, the maximum period allowed under the law.

The Wallaceburg man will next appear in court on March 1.


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