A 52-year-old Edmonton man was found not criminally responsible Monday in the death of his wife.
A Court of Queen's Bench judge ruled that Narin Sok did not know what he was doing when he strangled his wife Deang Huon, 40, in their central Edmonton apartment on July 30, 2008.
The Crown and defence lawyers recommended in a joint submission last week that Sok not be held criminally responsible. Justice Darlene Acton agreed.
Sok's fate in now in the hands of Alberta's Mental Health Panel which will decide if and when he should be released into the community.
He is currently a patient at Alberta Hospital.
A forensic psychiatrist determined Sok was suffering from a mental disorder likely caused by heavy metal poisoning at the time his wife was slain.
Sok was found to be have acute renal failure when he was arrested. Tests taken on that day showed he had toxic levels of lead, manganese and cadmium in his blood.
Sok had long-term exposure to toxic heavy metals at work, the psychiatric report stated.
Sok worked for scrap metal firms for six years starting in 1986. Then he worked for General Scrap Iron and Metal from June 2005 to July 2008 where he was responsible for cutting and peeling wires and cables to recover copper, aluminum and lead.
On the day he killed his wife, Sok melted two belts made of zinc, silver and lead on the stove which created a large amount of smoke in the apartment.
The belts belonged to Sok and his wife and were purchased in Cambodia on the belief they would help the couple conceive a child.
When police arrived at the apartment, they found the front door had been barricaded with sacks of rice. Sok was sitting on his bed surrounded by black garbage bags. Police found Huon's body under a pile of garbage bags, clothes and rice bags.
Sok later said he could not believe what he had done. He insisted he had no motive to hurt his wife and that he only wanted to protect her.