Mark Damien Lindsay has admitted to the gruesome killing of Dana Turner in 2011.
The trial began in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench on Tuesday to determine whether the Edmonton man, who suffers mental health issues, should be held criminally responsible.
Lindsay, 29, is charged with second-degree murder, obstruction of justice and interfering with human remains.
In an agreed statement of facts read by Crown prosecutor Ed Ring the court heard that Lindsay contacted Turner, with whom he had an on-again, off-again relationship, shortly after he was released from prison on Aug. 12, 2011.
He had served a 50-day sentence for stabbing Turner in the head with a paring knife in June, 2011.
Lindsay contacted Turner, 31, a day after his release and by Aug. 14 they had met up again, booking a room at an Edmonton hotel.
The two were in her rental car on the morning of Aug. 15 when he stabbed her with a pencil, first in one eye, then the other. He then strangled her with his shoelaces.
Lindsay drove to a construction site where he ran over her body twice to make sure she was dead.
Lindsay, who is the adopted son of former Edmonton police chief John Lindsay, later drove south and disposed of Turner’s body off an oil lease road about eight km west of Innisfail. The remains of the mother of three boys were not found until October.
At the scene was found a work glove that had traces of Turner’s and Lindsay’s DNA.
Turner’s mother Wendy Yurko was among about a dozen friends and family of the victim who came to court.
Yurko said the justice system failed her daughter.
“My daughter, if she had received justice the first time he drove a knife into her head, he wouldn’t have been released in 50 days, giving us four hours notice, and my daughter would now be alive,” she said outside court.
“The only thing that can possibly happen is that someone might be able to stop him from doing this to someone else.”
Yurko said the criminal justice system offers justice only to criminals, not their victims.
She believes Lindsay deserves to die the same way he daughter did. At the very least, given Canada has no capital punishment, he should be locked up for as long as he lives.
Someone as dangerous as Lindsay should never have been released from Edmonton’s Alberta Hospital, where he was being treated for his mental problems, in the first place, she said.
It was there he first met Turner, who suffered from manic depression.
Lindsay was arrested for Turner’s murder in B.C. in 2012, where he had been on trial for two charges of aggravated assault. He would be found not criminally responsible of those charges by reason of mental disorder.
He was arrested in Port Coquitlam, B.C., where he was being treated in the Forensic Psychiatry Hospital.
Lindsay showed little emotion as the fact of the case were read into the record. He mostly leaned his back on the wall in the court dock with his eyes closed.
In the morning, the lead investigator produced a detailed reconstruction of Turner’s time with Lindsay using receipts and closed-circuit video images from convenience stores and the hotel.
Two interviews with police were played in court. The first, about 45 minutes long, happened on Aug. 29, 2011 in Edmonton, early into the investigation. He denies killing her during the talk with plainclothes police officers in an unmarked car.
A more-than five-hour video interview with Lindsay on March 16, 2012, after he was charged with Turner’s death was shown in part and will be completed today.