Psychiatrists in the spotlight at murder trial

Psychiatrists with conflicting opinions faced tough cross-examinations at the start of the third week of the trial of a Consort man who is charged with shooting his brother.

Psychiatrists with conflicting opinions faced tough cross-examinations at the start of the third week of the trial of a Consort man who is charged with shooting his brother.

Dr. Kenneth Hashman and Dr. Vijay Singh, both forensic psychiatrists, took the stand Monday in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench before Justice Kirk Scissons.

John Wayne Mock, 36, of Consort, faces a second degree murder charge in the shooting death of his brother Timothy Mock.

Hashman was finishing up his testimony from last week. The head of forensic psychiatry services for Alberta was last questioned Nov. 20. Monday was his cross-examination by the Crown.

Crown prosecutor Anders Quist, focused his questioning on what Hashman hadn’t included in his opinion on the mental condition of John Mock.

Hashman had previously testified that John Mock has bipolar disorder Type 1 and was in a manic state with psychotic features at the time of the Feb. 22, 2012, shooting. Quist asked why Hashman didn’t consider John Mock’s drug use and if it would lead to a cannabis-induced psychosis.

In Singh’s report on the mental state of John Mock, he concluded that John Mock was in a cannabis-induced psychosis at the time. Singh said in the weeks leading up to the shooting John Mock had admitted to smoking between six and eight joints of a combination of marijuana and hashish per day, as well as consuming varying amounts of alcohol – as many as 50 beers the weekend before the incident, or as few as two beers on Feb. 22, 2012.

Singh, a psychiatrist with Alberta Hospital Edmonton, was called in by the Crown to evaluate John Mock’s mental state in August, 2013. Being significantly chronologically removed from the incident, Singh relied on Crown supplied background, personal interviews with John Mock and the interviews and observations of staff. He concluded that John Mock could have been suffering from acute intoxication at the time and his only diagnosis was chronic alcohol and cannabis misuse.

Singh also testified that John Mock’s paranoia, the belief the government was monitoring him through his phone, could be explained by his prolonged cannabis use.

Much of Quist’s cross-examination of Hashman relied on questions stemming from Singh’s evaluation of John Mock.

In the events surrounding the shooting, John Mock had gone to get a car to take his brother to help, but had backed in to a building. Singh used this and a 911 phone call where John Mock told the operator his brother had been shot to say that John Mock had an understanding of what had happened to his brother and that speaks to his criminal responsibility. Prior testimony said John Mock thought his brother was a clone and that was why he shot Timothy Mock. After the shooting John Mock phoned 911, his sister and a friend, he removed Timothy’s shirt to inspect him for wounds, checked his pulse and started CPR. Singh said all this contributes to an understanding that this was John Mock’s brother who was shot.

Defence counsel Darren Mahoney, of Calgary, grilled Singh on his findings. He focused his cross-examination on why Singh relied on Crown provided background material and his own interviews with John Mock a year-and-a-half after the incident. Singh maintained his position that at the time of the shooting John Mock was suffering from acute intoxication. Mahoney questioned Singh about Mocks behaviour in the first few weeks after, citing hallucinations, a suicide attempt by drowning himself in the toilet bowl and irrational behaviour. Singh said these could have been caused by both the withdrawal symptoms he would be experiencing from not having alcohol or cannabis anymore and because of the guilt and his irrational behaviour could be explained by the blow to the psyche because of the incident.

Thorughout his testimony Hashman maintained John Mock had bipolar disorder type 1, while Singh said it is possible, but not likely and the acute intoxication would better explain the transient psychotic symptom that lead to Tim’s death.

Testimony went late into Monday night, with Hashman being recalled as the defence’s surrebuttal. Hashman restated his opinion, which differs from Singhs saying John Mock had signs of psychosis and mania, which could be explained by a diagnosis bipolar disorder.

The trial resumes Tuesday morning.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Rebels goalie Chase Coward tries to find a loose puck during WHL action at the Centrium earlier this season. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)
Changes on the horizon for Red Deer Rebels next season

New coach, roster adjustments among top priorities for Sutter this offseason

Renovations and construction have begun at Red Deer Dream Centre. (Photo contributed)
Renovations underway at Red Deer Dream Centre

Christian-based addictions treatment centre

Red Deer County's municipal planning commission gave approval for a new directional sign for a business located near Elnora.
(Image from Red Deer County)
Red Deer County garden centre and winery gets sign approved

Delidais Estate Winery and DA Gardens is located near Elnora

(Advocate file photo)
Red Deer County approves home-based hair salon

Salon would be located in rural residential area just west of Innisfail

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Here is a list of latest COVID-19 restrictions in effect in Alberta

New mandatory health restrictions are now in effect in Alberta. Additional restrictions… Continue reading

In this Thursday, May 14, 2020 photo, a doctor holds his stethoscope during a patient visit in Blackburn, England, amid the coronavirus pandemic. Doctors in British Columbia are being warned they could face investigation or penalties from their regulatory body if they contradict public health orders or guidance about COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Hannah McKay/Pool Photo via AP
B.C. doctors could face penalty for veering from COVID-19 health guidelines: college

B.C. doctors could face penalty for veering from COVID-19 health guidelines: college

A vial of the  AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. Alberta says it won't give out more first doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for the time being.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Hope for a good summer with one dose in arms, if we ‘crush’ COVID-19: Trudeau

Hope for a good summer with one dose in arms, if we ‘crush’ COVID-19: Trudeau

FILE-In this Wednesday, March 17, 2021 file photo, A make-shift memorial is seen outside a business where a multiple fatal shooting occurred on Tuesday, in Acworth, Ga. Robert Aaron Long, 22, accused of killing eight people, six of them women of Asian descent, in shootings at three Atlanta-area massage businesses was indicted Tuesday, May 11, 2021, on murder charges, and a prosecutor filed notice that she'll also seek hate crime charges and the death penalty. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart, File)
Prosecutor plans to seek death penalty in spa shootings

Prosecutor plans to seek death penalty in spa shootings

Labour Minister Harry Bains arrives at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, June 26, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. pledges to introduce permanent paid sick leave program in January

B.C. pledges to introduce permanent paid sick leave program in January

In this June 8, 2017, file photo, fresh nuts, bolts and fittings are ready to be added to the east leg of the pipeline near St. Ignace, Mich., as Enbridge prepares to test the east and west sides of the Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac in Mackinaw City, Mich. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Dale G Young/Detroit News via AP, File
‘Massive and potentially permanent disruption’: Canada’s bleak view of Line 5 closure

‘Massive and potentially permanent disruption’: Canada’s bleak view of Line 5 closure

A Suncor logo is shown at the company's annual meeting in Calgary, Thursday, May 2, 2019.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Oilsands producer Suncor and utility Atco to pursue ‘world-class’ hydrogen project

Oilsands producer Suncor and utility Atco to pursue ‘world-class’ hydrogen project

A street sign along Bay Street in Toronto's financial district is shown on Tuesday, January 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
North American stock markets rally to pare early losses over inflation concerns

North American stock markets rally to pare early losses over inflation concerns

This photo provided by World Food Prize shows Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted.  On Tuesday, May 11, 2021, Thilsted was named this year's recipient of the $250,000 World Food Prize, which was created by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Norman Borlaug in 1986 to recognize researchers who have improved the quality and availability of food. (Finn Thilsted/World Food Prize via AP)
World Food Prize goes to nutrition expert for fish research

World Food Prize goes to nutrition expert for fish research

Most Read