Substance abuse issue takes centre stage at Lindsay trial

Picking from numerous medical reports, the Crown pointed to Mark Damien Lindsay’s lengthy substance abuse issues prior to when he killed an Edmonton mother.

Picking from numerous medical reports, the Crown pointed to Mark Damien Lindsay’s lengthy substance abuse issues prior to when he killed an Edmonton mother.

Crown Prosecutor Bina Border made numerous references to drug-induced psychosis, running counter to Dr. Marc Nesca’s belief of paranoid schizophrenia psychosis .

Nesca, a psychologist and defence witness, took the stand for his second day of testimony.

Lindsay, 29, was interviewed twice by Nesca in September 2014. Nesca said he conducted two tests on Lindsay including a personality assessment and a structured interview of reported symptoms.

Lindsay is accused of killing Dana Turner, 31, in August 2011. Lindsay stabbed Turner in the eyes with a pencil, strangled her and ran her over with a vehicle.

Nesca said the first test led to unclear results, saying Lindsay’s symptom tendency exceeded the genuine category, but at the same time didn’t qualify into the malignant category. The malignant category deals with people who are faking their condition.

Nesca described Lindsay as guarded about his use of intoxicating substances. Lindsay would deflect questions about using substances during his interviews with Nesca. The doctor said he had to question him on several points and build to questioning about substance abuse.

Border focused much of her cross-examination on the potential role Lindsay’s substance abuse may have played on his mental state. She questioned why Nesca didn’t consider Lindsay’s psychosis to have been induced by illicit substances. Nesca contended he looked at the totality of Lindsay’s circumstances in reaching his conclusion.

One report outlined Lindsay’s drug use, including cocaine, marijuana, crystal meth and alcohol.

Border entered several medical reports into evidence that included passages regarding Lindsay’s substance abuse.

Nesca said the picking and choosing of elements of these reports don’t represent the totality of Lindsay’s condition.

Lindsay’s actions in the death of Turner are not at issue for the trial. His criminal responsibility, however, is the focus of the trial.

Lindsay met Turner while both were at the Alberta Hospital in Edmonton. According to Lindsay’s police statement, he believed Turner was sent by a group of serial killers called Healers to kill him.

Though the term Healer is not documented until 2012, Nesca said there were ongoing references to a group of killers intent on killing Lindsay.

Lindsay had stabbed Turner in the face with a knife earlier in 2011 and was just released from prison the day before he killed Turner.

Trial resumes today with the defence expected to close their case after calling a second witness.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

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