Defence witness Dr. Jonathan Rootenberg to take stand today in Li mental fitness hearing in Winnipegpg.That was an interesting hour!
Dr Jonathon Rootenberg: University of Toronto, Lecturer
Expected to be a short day
Reporter: Li now being brought in. Describes an immediate hush, save for the clinking of cuffs in this big courtroom.
Dr Rootenberg: tells court Li did not know what he did to McLean was wrong, was "quite psychotic" at time of killing.
Dr Rootenberg: Li suffers from "major mental illness", hearing voices/delusions.
Dr R: Tells court Li was born with illness.
Crown: Can he recover?
Dr R: No. Can only be managed.
Crown: Why kill McLean?
Dr. R: Li's mental illness was not treated. Since killing (he has been) under 24 hr watch. Li NOT faking. (reporters emphasis)
Dr. R: Li believed "God's" hands killed McLean, who Li saw as "demon".
(Did he believe his hands were the hands of God, or his hands were doing God’s work. This is consistent with what the other doctor stated, that Li perceived Mclean as evil??.)
Court hears that Li (believed) he had to separate McLean's body parts so McLean not come back to life.
Reporter: Dr Rootenberg finishes bulk of testimony (questioned?) by Li's lawyer Alan Libman. More extensive medical reports filed as exhibits. (approx 25 minutes passed)
Dr R. says in time Li may "process/reconcile" what he did to McLean.
Reporter: Court says Li in only in very early stages of treatment. Possible Li suppressed some memory of McLean's slaying. ( court says or does Dr R say under cross examination?)
Crown: Is Li a high risk?
Witness Dr R: Yes, significant risk.
Crown: Kill again?
Dr. R: No, if (Li) keeps up treatment.
Crown: asking questions about Li's mental history in ONT about five years ago when hospitalized there. Judge says no bearing on case.
Dr. Rootenberg ends testimony. Now in closing arguments.
Defence says Li should go to hospital for treatment, not prison.
Defence says court should find Li Not Criminally Responsible (NCR).
Reporter: If found NCR, (not criminally responsible) which all agree most likely, Li held in secure facility for indefinite time period, perhaps even rest of his life.
Defence finishes it's final (summary, questions????) Now Crown's turn
"This man must be crazy." (reporters opinion?)
Crown attorney is Joyce Dalmyn. She tells QB judge John Scurfield Li meets NCR criteria, he did not appreciate horror of his act.
Judge Scurfield, He adjourns hearing until 10 a.m.(tomorrow) for proper oral decision given high publicity of case.
I am not sitting in the courtroom but even so, I am getting the sense that this is a production of sorts. Everything pre-agreed upon. Li is going to be declared NCR, both lawyers for the crown and defence agree he is, there is no disputing it. It was decided a month after the crime that Li was "fit for trial". I assume this means he was heavily medicated, medicated enough to get him to be compliant, not necessarily fit, but compliant anyway. From there, he can expediently be tried, I mean 3 days- zero witnesses? He can plead not guilty by reason of insanity, and then he can be locked up, key thrown away.
1st-This article clarifies some of the questions I had yesterday:
Winnipeg beheading killer a 'decent man': Doctor
I am going to include a link to a book here. A book that makes it clear why the mentally ill should not be "behind bars" Why a jail is no place for them. I've read through parts of it, it seems to be applicable to the reasoning in sending Li to a psychiatric institute as opposed to jail.
Yaren, a witness on behalf of the Crown who is the director of forensic psychiatry for both Manitoba and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, has concluded Li should be found not criminally responsible for his actions based on his mental state at the time.
Such a ruling would send him to a hospital, instead of a prison, for an indefinite period.
Yaren said Li began experiencing psychotic episodes around 2003, including a 2005 incident where he was picked up by police walking down Highway 401 in Ontario, believing he was "following the sun" after shedding most of his possessions.
He was briefly hospitalized in Etobicoke, Ont., but received no further followup after refusing to accept he had an illness or take any treatment, court was told.
DeDelley has said she wants the law changed so anyone found not criminally responsible for a crime still serves time behind bars.
I'll update this post a news becomes available.