Sudbury shooter not criminally responsible, court rules

Alex Klem, accused of shooting Sudbury businessman Tony Monteleone, suffers from mental illness and can't be held responsible, judge rules.

Justice Hennessy says Alex Klem suffers from paranoia, delusional disorder

Tony Monteleone, the owner of this downtown Sudbury store, was shot in the abdomen on Oct. 6, 2010. Alex Klem has been charged with attempted murder in the case. (CBC)

A man accused of shooting a downtown Sudbury businessman has been found not criminally responsible.

More than two years ago, Alex Klem entered Tony Monteleone's downtown clothing business and shot him in the abdomen.

Klem was charged with attempted murder, threatening to kill, harassment, break and enter and striking a police officer.

In a Sudbury court Friday, Justice Patricia Hennessy ruled that Klem did commit these crimes, but suffered from mental illness and can't be held responsible.

Hennessy confirmed the facts presented by the crown and agreed to by the defence:

  • On Oct. 6, 2010 Klem shot Tony Monteleone.
  • He then drove to a friend's house, demanded keys to his vehicle and threatened to kill him.
  • In his friend's vehicle Klem went to a New Sudbury business.
  • Employees of that store barricaded themselves in a back room and fled out the back to a restaurant.
  • Shortly after, police arrested him at that location.

Hennessy said Klem suffered from paranoia and a brain disease called delusional disorder

She said Klem was still capable of planning the events in October, but his overall behaviour was driven by his illness.

At the time Klem committed these acts, he didn't possess the capacity to know they were was wrong, Hennessy said. The only way Klem thought he could end the torment in his brain was to shoot Monteleone.

Klem will remain in custody until his deposition hearing with the Ontario Review Board, which will select a health or detention center for Klem to serve a possible sentence. .

Hennessy ordered that review be completed in 45 days.

He's also prohibited to have weapons for five years and must provide a DNA sample.

Klem has no previous criminal history.

Victim's life was 'shattered'

During testimony on Thursday, Monteleone read his victim impact statement about his experiences after being shot in the abdomen on Oct. 6 , 2010 while at work in his downtown clothing store.

Although the shooting happened more than two years ago, Monteleone said that day still haunts him.

With his head bowed, Monteleone started by saying that, after that midday shooting, his life was shattered forever.

Monteleone was tearful as he told the court the first thing that went through his mind was "who's going to take care of my family?"

Monteleone told the court he spent a total of 50 days in the hospital. In the aftermath of the shooting, he lost his kidney, half his stomach, some intestine and spent two weeks in intensive care.

He said he's had health problems ever since.

Klem pleaded not guilty to all of the charges against him, however he did sign a statement acknowledging the crown's version of events.

Friday morning, psychiatrist Stephen Hucker told the court that Alex Klem should not be held criminally responsible.

Dr. Hucker said Klem suffers from an incurable mental disorder that has left him with delusional tendencies and a paranoid personality.