Randall Hopley to undergo psych evaluation
B.C. child abduction suspect to be held pending evaluation
- Hopley to be charged with kidnapping and abduction of a person under age 14, police say.
- Suspected was arrested Tuesday near Alberta border after massive police manhunt.
A judge has ordered alleged child abductor Randall Peter Hopley, 46, to undergo a psychiatric assessment to determine if he is fit to stand trial.
Hopley made his first court appearance in Cranbrook, B.C., on Wednesday morning to face charges in the alleged kidnapping of three-year-old Kienan Hebert last week.
He appeared without handcuffs, but with his feet in shackles, unshaven and dressed in a navy T-shirt. He appeared tanned, but not gaunt or with any other appearance suggesting he lacked food during the time he was allegedly on the run from police.
Hopley stood slouched with his hands clasped as the judge ordered him to be held in custody and undergo a psychiatric assessment to determine if he is fit to stand trial.
Section 672.11 of the Criminal Code
A court having jurisdiction over an accused in respect of an offence may order an assessment of the mental condition of the accused, if it has reasonable grounds to believe that such evidence is necessary to determine
(a) whether the accused is unfit to stand trial;
(b) 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 by virtue of subsection 16(1).
Hopley didn't look at the full courtroom, only at the judge and his counsel. He is scheduled to appear in court again on Nov. 9. for a bail hearing.
On Tuesday police said they expect Hopley will face charges of kidnapping and abduction of a person under age 14.
Hopley 'has a story to tell,' says lawyer
Outside the court, Hopley's lawyer William Thorne said Hopley is tired and "sorry for the situation he's in," but glad the little boy is home safe.
"Hopley has a story to tell and eventually — not yet — his story will come out," said Thorne.
"This is an unprecedented case ... the police said that in their interviews. It's a very unusual circumstance and his side of it is also very unusual."
Thorne said his client only suffered minor injuries during the arrest on Tuesday, but given Hopley's notoriety, he has concerns about his client's well-being in jail, "with possible issues that other prisoners might want to take some retribution on him — vigilante justice."
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"He was Canada's most wanted man there for about five days."
Thorne said he wouldn't be surprised if Hopley was on suicide watch. He said Hopley has health issues "of various kinds," but it will be up to doctors to decide whether he has mental-health problems.
On Tuesday morning Hopley was arrested with the assistance of police dogs as he was running from an abandoned cabin at an old cement plant in the Crowsnest Lake area in Alberta near the B.C. border.
Hopley is accused of abducting Kienan Hebert from his home in Sparwood last Wednesday. Kienan was returned unharmed to his family home on Sunday morning.
Court documents indicate Hopley has already been charged with two counts of breach of probation. One of the breaches is alleged to have occurred last Wednesday, and the other on Monday.