Nova Scotia

Mental health assessment complete for son charged in mother's death

A mental health assessment for a man charged with murdering his mother and trying to bury her body in his backyard is complete. But lawyers in the case of Ryan Richard Lamontagne told a Halifax provincial court judge on Monday they needed more time to assess the document.

The case of Ryan Richard Lamontagne will return to court Jan. 17

Ryan Richard Lamontagne makes a court appearance in October. (Blair Rhodes/CBC)

The mental health assessment for a man charged with murdering his mother and trying to bury her body in his Halifax backyard is complete.

But lawyers in the case of Ryan Richard Lamontagne told a Halifax provincial court judge on Monday they needed more time to assess the document.

Lamontagne, on remand at the East Coast Forensic Hospital in Dartmouth, appeared by video link. His case is scheduled to return to court on Jan. 17.

The 26-year-old man is charged with second-degree murder and indignity to human remains in the death of his mother, Linda Lamontagne, in October at a home on Willow Street.

Crown attorney Mark Heerema said he only received the 60-day mental health assessment, which was conducted by a psychiatrist, over the weekend. 

Heerema said the purpose of the assessment was to examine whether Lamontagne is fit to stand trial.

"Fitness, in Canada, refers to both being physically and mentally present for your proceeding," Heerema said outside of court.

Investigators are shown at a home on Willow Street in Halifax where a woman's body was found on Oct. 22. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

He said the psychiatrist was also tasked with giving an opinion on whether Lamontagne was criminally responsible.

"The live issue I think before the court would be whether he was criminally responsible at the time of the alleged incident, and that is an issue that would have to be determined by a trier of fact, which in this case would be a jury," said Heerema.

Brad Sarson told the court he has been retained as Lamontagne's lawyer.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Aly Thomson

Reporter/Editor

Aly Thomson is an award-winning journalist based in Halifax who loves helping the people of her home province tell their stories. She is particularly interested in issues surrounding justice, education and the entertainment industry. You can email her with tips and feedback at aly.thomson@cbc.ca.

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