A Toronto architect accused of stabbing a concierge at her Rosedale apartment building will undergo a seven-day psychiatric evaluation, Radio-Canada reports.
Ellis Kirkland, 60, looked drawn and haggard when she appeared in mental health court in Toronto on Monday. She's set to be evaluated at Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and is due back in court on March 22 when a judge will determine whether Kirkland is fit to stand trial.
Kirkland was charged Friday with attempted murder, aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, weapons dangerous to public peace.
It's so inexplicable. Everyone is shocked that this amazing individual is in the crisis she is in. - John Nunziata, lawyer for Ellis Kirkland
The judge ordered the psychiatric evaluation at the request of Kirkland's lawyer, former Liberal MP John Nunziata, who said he believes she's not criminally responsible for what happened.
Following the hearing, Nunziata told reporters his client is "profoundly distraught, very anxious and confused" about the incident but recognizes that she needs help and is willing to co-operate with authorities.
"She has a mental illness and needs help," he said. "She was planning on ending her life on that day."
Nunziata said no one can explain how a woman of Kirkland's stature and accomplishments has now found herself a suspect in a stabbing. "It's so inexplicable. Everyone is shocked that this amazing individual is in the crisis she is in."
He said Kirkland has no recollection of what happened last Thursday but is distressed that a man was injured in the stabbing. He said the two barely know each other.
"She is very concerned about the well being of the victim," he said.
He said he is pleased that Kirkland will go to CAMH for a week instead of the Vanier Centre for Women in Milton, Ont. because she is in no state of mind to go a prison. Over the weekend, Nunziata said his client was on suicide watch in a secure facility.
Victim says he was attacked from behind
The victim, 67, whose name is protected under publication ban, was released from hospital on the weekend after the unprovoked attack on last Thursday.
He told CBC News a woman attacked him from behind with a large kitchen knife while he helped her carry some boxes.
Kirkland was arrested Thursday on the 27th floor of a Toronto hotel after two police officers rappelled down from the floor above.
Born in Malta and raised in Toronto, Kirkland was educated at the University of Toronto and Harvard University. She has been a provincial lobbyist and volunteer vice president of the non-governmental organization NATO Association of Canada.