Glen Douglas Race, a man charged in the deaths of two men whose bodies were found in Nova Scotia in 2007, will plead guilty to one count of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder on Monday, his lawyer confirms.
Race was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of 44-year-old Michael Knott and 45-year-old Trevor Brewster.
Both men were gay and though police said it's unclear whether that was a motive in their deaths, at the time they urged gay men to be cautious in cruising areas.
As many as 14 weeks had been set aside for the trial, which was supposed to start on Monday.
"The Crown would call 125 witnesses. I am satisfied that there is only one issue in this case and that is whether or not he is criminally responsible. I am positive that the Crown has more than sufficient evidence to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt," said Joel Pink, Race's lawyer.
Pink said the question is not whether Race murdered the men, but what his state of mind was when he did it.
Pink said he is asking the court to hold off on a conviction until after evidence of his client’s application to be held not criminally responsible for the crimes is reviewed.
"On Monday, Mr. Race will be formally arraigned on counts of murder — one of first degree, one of second degree. We have agreed that he will enter a guilty plea to that. I will then ask the presiding judge, Justice Coady, not to enter a conviction and we are putting the matter over until the first part of November to have the matter of not criminally responsible decided by the court," he said.
Psychiatrists to testify
That review is scheduled for Nov. 4 when three doctors — two for the defence and one for the Crown — can testify.
"On Nov. 4, what's going to happen is that on that day, the Crown will introduce an agreed statements of facts. On the following day we will call our first psychiatrist. The next day, we will call our second psychiatrist and on the third day after that the Crown will call its psychiatrist. The matter will then be argued," said Pink.
Brewster was killed in May 2007 and his body was found near a Dartmouth, N.S., walking trail. Race is charged with his murder as well as the killing of Knott in Mill Cove, N.S., a few days later.
Race is already serving a life sentence for the murder of Darcy Manor of Mooers, N.Y., on May 10, 2007. In January 2009, a U.S. court sentenced Race to 25 years to life in prison for killing Manor. Race shot Manor, 35, in the back at a secluded hunting lodge.
The three deaths sparked a North American manhunt for Race, who was arrested trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border May 15, 2007.
Race seeks new U.S. trial
The 31-year-old man was extradited from the United States to Canada in October 2010 to face the charges.
Race, diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2001, has been staying at the East Coast Forensic Hospital.
Pink also told CBC News that his client has retained legal counsel in the U.S. to get him a new trial there.
He said the possibility of his client being held not criminally responsible was never raised in the U.S. He said they now have psychiatrists that will testify he was mentally ill at the time of all the murders.
"Glen Race was brought back to Canada on an undertaking by the Canadian government approved by the courts that he will be returned to the United States after 45 days after the completion of all appeals to finish his sentence there," said Pink.
"We are now in communication with a law firm in New York to have the whole matter opened again in New York to see whether or not we can get him a new trial."
Trevor Brewster was found in Dartmouth and Michael Knott in Mill Cove. An earlier version of this article reversed the locations.Sep 28, 2013 11:37 AM AT