Murder suspect’s mental state debated

Lawyers are to give final arguments this afternoon in the trial of a Consort-area rancher who shot and killed his brother.

Lawyers are to give final arguments this afternoon in the trial of a Consort-area rancher who shot and killed his brother.

Timothy James Mock, 33, was gunned down in the family home on the evening of Feb. 22, 2012.

His brother, John Wayne Mock, 35, confessed to police and has admitted through his lawyer that he shot his younger brother.

The question now before a judge and jury in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench is whether Mock is guilty of second-degree murder or if he is not criminally responsible for his actions because of a mental disorder.

Witnesses have addressed Mock’s mental state, including a series of experts, and relatives and friends.

In a surprise move on Tuesday, Crown prosecutor Anders Quist said a witness he and co-counsel Maurice Collard had planned to call had advised them outside the courtroom of additional information that had not been raised earlier.

Quist said he did not wish to call the witness for the Crown’s case, but that she may be of some use to the defence.

With consent of the court, defence counsel Darren Mahoney called Meghan Connor to the stand to talk about Mock’s mental state on the night before the shooting.

Connor, 21, said she and two friends, all 18 at the time, were driving around that night, looking for something to do, when they decided to drop in on “John Wayne,” arriving at about 1:30 a.m.

Connor said Mock had two or three beers and smoked a joint during the visit.

She said she noticed nothing unusual about Mock, considering that she had grown up with a sister who was under treatment for bipolar disorder.

She said his mood was up an down during the visit. He became angry a couple of times, but would then reach a plateau and calm down. He mentioned at some point during the visit that he had thrown his new iPhone into the fire.

He also got worked up when he spoke about being arrested in Wainwright for possessing marijuana.

“But I’m so used to it, it really didn’t strike me as odd,” she said when questioned by Collard.

A Crown witness testified that, in his opinion, Mock was not affected by any unusual mental disorder at the time of the shooting, even though he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2000.

Psychologist Robert John Faltin said he had worked with Mock after his arrest and examined reports and assessments completed by other specialists.

He characterized Mock as a man suffering tremendous stress and “befuddled” by the drugs he had been using at the time of the shooting.

Faltin said Mock was suffering post-traumatic stress from his mother’s death a month earlier and that he was under additional stress, left to care for the farm and his brother when their father was admitted to hospital. Despite his stresses, Mock seemed capable of managing the farm, including about 100 cattle.

Mahoney, Quist and Collard were to state their cases for the jury today.

Court is then adjourned until Thursday morning, when Justice Kirk Sisson will instruct the 11-member jury before asking them to reach a verdict.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com

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