The unsettling facts in the case of a man who claimed to be a vampire slayer when he murdered two Halifax men in 2007 have left the justice system with a thorny challenge, a Crown attorney said Friday.
Mark Heerema told a Nova Scotia Supreme Court hearing that Glen Race — diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2001 — should not be held criminally responsible for fatally stabbing Michael Knott and Trevor Brewster because he was too mentally ill at the time.
Heerema said it's important for the court and the public to recognize the complex and troubling nature of the case.
"This case is remarkably complex and I think a neat and tidy answer to anything that happened in May 2007 is not possible, " Heerema said outside the Halifax courtroom.
Judge Kevin Coady will deliver his decision Jan. 24.
During the fifth and final day of the hearing, Heerema pointed to testimony from a psychiatric expert who said he's still troubled by certain "red flags" among the accepted facts.
History of psychotic delusions
Dr. Hy Bloom said Thursday it was difficult for him to reconcile the fact that Race, apparently suffering from psychotic delusions, had the wherewithal to stab his victims, hide their bodies and then flee 5,000 kilometres to within metres of the Mexican border— all within two weeks in May 2007.
However, Heerema said Bloom and two other psychiatric experts concluded Race couldn't have understood his actions were morally wrong given his well-documented history of intense psychotic delusions associated with schizophrenia.
Bloom told the court that even though Race was "gifted" at suppressing his symptoms while in public, he said Race couldn't have made a rational, moral decision at the time of the killings.
"I think Dr. Bloom clearly stated ... there are a lot of things that may suggest (Race) was criminally responsible," he said outside court. "Ultimately, all of the experts agreed that he should be found not criminally responsible."
Earlier this year, Race's lawyer, Joel Pink, filed an application with the court to have his client declared not criminally responsible because he suffers from a mental illness that Pink says left him incapable of appreciating that the murders were morally wrong.
Race pleaded guilty in September to first-degree murder in Brewster's death and second-degree murder in Knott's death.
Knott was fatally stabbed on May 1, 2007, in his car while parked near the Citadel Hill historic site in downtown Halifax. Brewster was stabbed and bludgeoned six days later near Frenchman Lake, a secluded spot in a Halifax-area industrial park.
Defence hopes for U.S. appeal
Court heard Race believed he was a godlike entity ordered by angels to cleanse the world of sin by killing vampires, demons and, eventually, everyone on the planet.
Race was extradited from the United States in October 2010 to face the charges in Halifax after he was sentenced to life in prison for the shooting death of mechanic Darcy Manor in Upstate New York. That murder happened three days after Race killed Brewster.
Pink said Race faces extradition to the United States 45 days after Coady hands down his decision.
However, Pink has said he intends to consult with lawyers in New York to see if there are grounds for an appeal based on new evidence.