Mark Damien Lindsay’s clear mental illness, gestating for years led, him to murder Dana Turner, his defence counsel said to close out the trial.
But the Crown said his actions around the time of the offence show he had the capacity to make a rational choice.
Closing arguments brought the three-week trial to its near conclusion Thursday in Red Deer Court of Queen’s bench.
Defence counsel Kent Teskey said Lindsay was profoundly ill in 2011 when the murder occurred and his schizophrenia can be traced back to its early stages in 2005.
Lindsay has admitted to killing Turner, 31, by stabbing her in the eyes with a pencil, strangling her and running her over with a car. He believed Turner was a member of a group of serial killers called Healers and was sent by them to kill him.
In August 2011, he was just out of jail after serving a 50-day sentence for stabbing Turner in the face with a knife. Within days of his release, he killed Turner.
The main trial issue was whether or not Lindsay could be held criminally responsible for the murder.
Crown Prosecutor Ed Ring said Lindsay made many rational decisions after he killed Lindsay including: driving to Walmart to get a blanket to cover Turner’s body, going to his parent’s house to get his resumé and welding documents, going to his brother’s home, going to a TD bank to take out some money and going to a Rona to get a shovel and other items aimed at concealing his intention of burying Turner’s body.
Relying on his two experts and their testimony, Teskey said Lindsay was actively psychotic “in a profound way” for a decade.
Comparing his witnesses to the Crown’s expert, Teskey said Dr. Marc Nesca and Dr. Marcel Hediger had substantive conversations with Lindsay whereas Dr. Peter Rodd only spoke with Lindsay for two hours.
Teskey hammered on the point that Rodd was only brought in as a consultant while Nesca and Hediger’s assessments were longer. Hediger was not cross examined by the Crown, which Teskey interpreted to mean his evidence was highly credible.
Crown Prosecutor Bina Border said Nesca’s evidence relied on inadmissible and hearsay evidence, saying his testimony was not reliable enough for the court on its own.
All three expert witnesses gave evidence Lindsay is schizophrenic.
Teskey’s fellow defence counsel Curtis Steeves focused his remarks on the consistency of Lindsay’s evidence on how the murder took place. He highlighted the fears Lindsay had about Turner that led to the violence present in the crime.
“His delusions started slowly and evolved,” said Teskey. “They didn’t come out of nowhere.”
Teskey said the act was committed as a form of self-defence and Lindsay was so worried about Turner’s reanimation that he strangled her and ran her over.
Border said Lindsay’s parents’ testimony was unreliable as they did not have a complete understanding of the volume of illicit substances Lindsay used. The parents’ testimony had provided some background on Lindsay’s developing mental illness from his younger days.
The issue of drug induced psychosis versus psychosis originating from his schizophrenia has been an ongoing trial issue.
Border pointed to a substance abuse gap in 2007 for Lindsay. He had moved back in with his parents and stopped drinking. It wasn’t until he started drinking again that Lindsay and his parent’s relationship deteriorated and Lindsay was once again out of the family home.
Lindsay showed emotion for the second time during the trial as he cried during Teskey’s submissions.
Justice Eldon Simpson reserved his decision until May 13. He is expected to provide a lengthy written decision and a brief oral summary.