Second psychiatric test ordered for Sooke man accused of murder

Crown and defence attorneys have agreed to seek a second opinion after a Sooke man was found “marginally fit” to stand trial for murder.

Crown and defence attorneys have agreed to seek a second opinion after a Sooke man was found “marginally fit” to stand trial for murder.

Alex Conte, 21, is charged with second degree murder in the death of this mother Sarah Nickerson, who as found deceased the afternoon of Jan. 8 in her mobile home on Otter Point Road.

Sooke RCMP officers responded to a 9-1-1 call for help that came from a mobile home in the Park Village. Conte was arrested at the scene.

Conte appeared in Western Communities Courthouse via video from the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Port Coquitlam on Thursday, where he is being held. Unshaven with close cropped dark hair, he sat quietly and showed little emotion or reaction during proceedings.

Crown prosecutor Christine Lowe told the court a psychiatric assessment found Conte fit to stand trial, although “marginally fit.”

Lowe agreed with defense attorney Bill Heflin a second psychiatric assessment is needed to determine if Conte will stand trial for murder. If found to be suffering from a mental disorder at the time he was arrested, he can’t be held criminally responsible for the alleged offense.

“In my experience you are either fit, or it’s don’t call us, we’ll call you,” Heflin said. “This is a hybrid creature that strongly suggests further inquiry is warranted.”

Heflin and Lowe submitted an agreed statement of facts and the psychiatric report to Judge Evan Blake, which are under a publication ban. Blake ordered Conte undergo a second assessment within the next 30 days.

Conte had a troubled past before being arrested for his mother’s alleged murder. Last year he was found guilty on three counts of assault. He is currently charged with assault, uttering threats and break and enter from an incident on May 20, 2011.

Conte is scheduled to appear at Western Communities Courthouse again via video on March 22, 2 p.m.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

 

 

Just Posted

Deadline looming for youth transitional housing

Province says funding for 10 units not available at this time

Greater Victoria Public Library announces new music streaming service

Victoria Conservatory of Music to perform at Langford Heritage Branch on Saturday

Crews respond to homeless camp fire in View Royal

View Royal, Saanich and Colwood responding to two separate incidents on the Trans-Canada Highway

“This is not a drill:” test tsunami alarm sparks panic at elementary school

CFB Esquimalt issued apology for broadcasting wrong message

RICKTER SCALE: Nuclear chicken tough to digest

How close are Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un to crossing the line?

VIDEO: ‘Lyle the singing pig’ searching for home

SPCA say the pig is ‘not opera-ready’

Man steals police car, goes for a ‘slow’ ride

Mission RCMP say the motive of the theft is unknown

Dodgers punch ticket to World Series

This will be the first time the Los Angles Dodgers have made it to the World Series since 1988.

Surf group winning the war on plastic bags

The Tofino Co-op will no longer provide plastic bags, following in the footsteps of the Ucluelet location that already made the change earlier this year.

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

Having a Happy Halloween at Galey Farms

Galey Farms has become synonymous with Halloween on the Saanich Peninsula. The… Continue reading

B.C. woman plagued by bedbugs on airplane not surprising, says expert

Heather Szilagyi was on a British Airways flight when she noticed bedbugs crawling out of the seat

4 B.C. prisons install body scanners to combat drug smuggling

The scanners are aimed to combat the smuggling of contraband including weapons and drugs

Outspoken Mountie assigned to admin duties for refusing to shave goatee

The 15-year veteran of the force said he believes the RCMP is targeting him

Most Read