Alberta judge to give verdict this week for accused in work-camp deaths

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — A judge will have to decide whether a man who admits he killed two people at a northern Alberta work camp knew what he was doing or was driven by voices in his head.

Daniel Goodridge has pleaded not guilty due to a mental disorder to charges of first-degree murder, assault with a weapon and interfering with human remains.

Crown prosecutor Steven Hinkley questioned during his final arguments why Goodridge only attacked two people if the voices were telling him to kill everybody, as a psychiatrist testified during the trial.

Defence lawyer Anna Konye called the attacks a crime that could not be explained by “common criminal motives.”

David Derksen, who was 37 and from La Crete, Alta., and 50-year-old Hally Dubois of Red Deer, Alta., were found dead at a Canada North oilfield camp near Fox Creek in June 2015.

Justice Ken Nielsen is to deliver a verdict on Thursday in Grande Prairie Court of Queen’s Bench.

In an agreed statement of facts entered early in the trial, Goodridge admits to the slayings at the work site as well as to terrorizing others who woke in the middle of the night to screams.

Psychiatrist Lenka Zedkova testified that Goodridge’s mental state led him to believe his co-workers wanted to assault him. She said he had been hearing voices and thought he needed to kill everyone to make them stop.

Konye argued during her final summation Tuesday that there was nothing before the judge to suggest he give less weight to the testimony of Zedkova and another psychiatrist.

Hinkley pointed to statements Goodridge made after the attacks that appeared to express justification for his actions. Hinkley also noted that Goodridge had been guarded in the past, but told a paramedic when asked what happened: “I killed someone.”

Konye suggested that Goodridge would have felt more secure in an ambulance and therefore more free to open up.

Court heard that Goodridge, 31, stabbed Derksen more than 70 times, cut off parts of his body and set him on fire.

Some workers hid in their rooms while others fled into the bush as Goodridge ran around the remote property with a large knife.

He also threw rocks at vehicles and set fires in some buildings.

When RCMP arrived, Goodridge refused to drop the knife and lunged at an officer. Mounties fired 12 shots, wounding him.

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