A jury of six men and six women will be asked over the next two weeks to decide whether a Consort man can be held legally responsible for killing his brother.
Timothy James Mock, 33, died on Feb. 22, 2012, after taking three bullets from a .45-calibre revolver while he was in the master bedroom of the ranchhouse he shared with his older brother, John Wayne Mock, and their father, Roy.
John Mock, now 35, was arrested at the scene and charged with second-degree murder.
Their father was in hospital in Provost at the time.
Their mother had died and there were no other family members living at the ranch, Crown prosecutor Maurice Collard said in reading an agreed statement of facts at the opening of John Mock’s trial in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench on Tuesday afternoon.
Mock sat quietly in the prisoner’s box throughout the first day of proceedings, wearing a grey T-shirt with his beard neatly trimmed and his thick, waist-length hair tied in a ponytail.
The question left for the jury is not whether he fired the shots that killed his brother, but whether he can be held criminally responsible for those actions, said Collard.
Defence counsel Darren Mahoney of Calgary said he and his client take no issues with the facts of the shooting, but that he intends to prove that the accused man was affected by a mental disorder at the time of the shooting and was therefore not criminally responsible for his actions.
Mahoney said he intends to call witnesses to the stand who will testify to Mock’s mental state before, during and after his brother’s death. Witnesses include three court-appointed doctors who assessed Mock after his arrest, as well as family members who will testify about his behaviour in advance of the shooting.
Those witnesses will talk about what John Mock was like, as well as the relationship he had with his brother, said Mahoney.
In his instructions to the jury, Justice Kirk Sisson asked them to decide on the credibility of the witnesses and to make their judgment on the evidence as a whole.
He cautioned them against doing any research on their own, stating that their decision must be based solely on the evidence presented to them, including witness testimony, and with close attention to his instructions on points of law.
The Crown opened its case with testimony from RCMP photographer Const. Leyane Bennett.
The trial continues today and is scheduled for completion on Nov. 29.