Nova Scotia

60-day mental-health assessment ordered for son charged in mother's death

A 26-year-old Halifax man charged with murdering his mother and trying to bury her body in his backyard will stay in custody for a two-month mental-health assessment.

Ryan Richard Lamontagne arrested Oct. 22, accused of murdering Linda Lamontagne

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

A 26-year-old Halifax man charged with murdering his mother and trying to bury her body in his backyard will stay in custody for a two-month mental-health assessment.

Ryan Richard Lamontagne is charged with second-degree murder and indignity to human remains in the death of his mother, Linda Lamontagne.

He was arrested last week after police were called to an address where he lived on Willow Street in central Halifax. 

Lamontagne appeared Tuesday by video link from cells in the Halifax provincial courthouse.

Ryan Richard Lamontagne makes a brief court appearance on Oct. 23. (Blair Rhodes/CBC)

Judge Ann Marie Simmons remanded Lamontagne back to the East Coast Forensic Hospital until late December. He will undergo a 60-day mental-health assessment and treatment. 

A psychiatrist has had the last five days to assess Lamontagne to judge whether he is fit to participate in court. 

The judge accepted the psychiatrist's assessment that he is in the middle of a psychotic episode right now and not able to participate in court, and that a longer assessment time is necessary.

Crown attorney Mark Heerema said outside court that one of the difficulties is that Lamontagne's mental illness is untreated.

"The Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act provides a mechanism whereby the public trustee can authorize treatment, and I do understand that the East Coast Forensic Hospital will be pursuing that as potentially one option to assist in Mr. Lamontagne regaining his mental health," he said.

Crown attorney Mark Heerema speaks to the media outside court. (Shaina Luck/CBC)

Brad Sarson, a lawyer with Nova Scotia Legal Aid, told the court he will be "following" the case but has not been able to have a conversation with Lamontagne, who requires representation but hasn't formally retained a lawyer. 

Lamontagne will appear in court again two days before Christmas.

Police seeking potential witness

Halifax Regional Police said Tuesday they want to speak with a potential witness in the case. 

Police believe someone gave a ride to Lamontagne between midnight and 7 a.m. on Oct. 22. This person is not a suspect in the death of Lamontagne's mother, nor do police believe there are any other suspects involved.

"The witness, believed to be a male, may have met Lamontagne in the area of Nantucket Avenue by the Macdonald Bridge in Dartmouth. They may have gone to a local coffee shop," police said in a news release. 

At the time, Lamontagne was wearing a camouflage hooded sweatshirt, dark pants and carrying a backpack.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shaina Luck

Reporter

Shaina Luck is a reporter with CBC Nova Scotia. She has worked with national network programs, the CBC's Atlantic Investigative Unit, and the University of King's College school of journalism. Email: shaina.luck@cbc.ca

now