U.S. woman appears in Alberta court charged with aiding mother’s suicide

A U.S. woman charged with aiding the suicide of her mother in an Alberta mountain town has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment.

HINTON — A U.S. woman charged with aiding the suicide of her mother in an Alberta mountain town has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment.

The defence lawyer for Linda Jean McNall has told court there are concerns her client may also be suicidal. Marissa Tordoff said it’s possible the 53-year-old could have a mental disorder and be found not criminally responsible for the alleged crime.

“The nature of the offence is one that would trigger inquiry into her mental health,” Tordoff said Wednesday in Hinton provincial court.

McNall, in custody at the Edmonton Remand Centre, appeared briefly in court with her lawyer via video. A stocky woman with short hair and a flushed face, the accused stood without saying a word.

Her mother, Shirley Vann, was found dead last month inside a vehicle parked in front of the hospital in Hinton, about 300 kilometres west of Edmonton.

McNall was admitted to hospital with injuries that weren’t life-threatening and charged by RCMP four days later.

Crown prosecutor Bob Marr said outside court that investigators are still trying to piece together what happened. There’s some indication Vann, who was in her 70s, was poisoned by carbon monoxide, but autopsy results are not complete, he said.

Marr believes the mother and daughter had been on holiday in Canada from Arizona or Idaho for about three weeks to a month before Vann died.

“Apparently, they came up here to take in the countryside.”

He said Mounties were initially so concerned for McNall’s well-being that they requested a publication ban to prevent news media from identifying her or her mother. Court documents show officers feared publicity in the case would “further exacerbate McNall’s suicidal resolve.”

Both Crown and defence lawyers agreed Wednesday there was no reason to keep the ban in place.

“I know the police were very, very concerned initially of the well-being of the person that’s accused,” Marr said. “And they basically took all the steps they could to try and protect her until this thing got rolling.”

A judge ordered that McNall be assessed by doctors over the next 30 days at Alberta Hospital in Edmonton. She is to appear in court again July 3.

Just Posted

Motorcyclist dies of injuries

Ponoka RCMP continue to investigate collision

Huge crowds gathering in downtown Toronto for Raptors parade, rally

TORONTO — Jubilant Raptors fans decked out in the team’s gear are… Continue reading

Boeing says ‘sorry’ for Max crashes, seeks renewed trust

LE BOURGET, France — Boeing executives apologized Monday to airlines and families… Continue reading

Protesters demand embattled Hong Kong leader resign

HONG KONG — Demonstrators in Hong Kong gathered Monday outside the office… Continue reading

After harsh Twitter exchanges, Senate will look at new social media policy

OTTAWA — An independent senator is on a mission to get members… Continue reading

Pro-pipelines rally draws crowd to City Hall

Canadian Taxpayers Federation says Canada missing out on billions in revenue

Canadian sports fans have changed since the Blue Jays’ World Series wins

TORONTO — After more than a quarter century since one of the… Continue reading

Henderson wins Meijer LPGA to break Canadian victory record

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Brooke Henderson won the Meijer LPGA Classic on… Continue reading

Franchise fatigue continues with ‘Men in Black’ and ‘Shaft’

LOS ANGELES — Brand familiarity isn’t everything when it comes to attracting… Continue reading

‘Hunger Games’ prequel novel coming in 2020

NEW YORK — A decade after seemingly wrapping up “The Hunger Games,”… Continue reading

Federal cabinet decision on fate of Trans Mountain pipeline due Tuesday

OTTAWA — The Liberal government’s $4.5 billion gamble to buy the Trans… Continue reading

Skier, 22 dies after fall on Mount Haig near Castle Mountain Ski Resort

PINCHER CREEK, Alta. — RCMP from the Pincher Creek, Alta., detachment are… Continue reading

4 years in, Trump fondly recalls Trump Tower campaign launch

NEW YORK — It was the escalator ride that would change history.… Continue reading

Massive protests draw apology from Hong Kong leadership

Hong Kong citizens marched for hours Sunday in a massive protest that… Continue reading

Most Read