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.



Just Posted

Man arrested, charged in connection with stabbing at Langford Lanes

Twenty-year-old Austin Bonner has been charged with aggravated assault

Community rallies behind Langford man battling lymphoma

More than $20,000 has been raised to help Mike Gordon

B.C. Transit to reduce service for spring

Route changes come in to effect April 9

Group calls for limited access to backcountry roads near Jordan River

Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association says closures would limit misuse of woods

Career fair inspires Royal Bay students

Inaugural event brought together 72 workers from various fields

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Women’s Expo seeks to empower women this weekend

Victoria Women’s Expo set for Saturday and Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre

City of Victoria seeks artists to contribute to upcoming public exhibitions

Submissions for Commercial Alley gallery, bus shelter project due by April 9

Alberta budget plans for Trans Mountain expansion

Finance Minister Joe Ceci says expected revenues will be factored into budget forecasts

Plane filled with smoke lands at Nanaimo Airport

WestJet flight came in from Vancouver

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Rescued Comox canoer credits those ‘at the right place, at the right time’

James Milne was rescued in a hypothermic state Sunday near Goose Spit

Proposed gun bill attacked by gun owners and shooting victims

The federal government tabled the bill today in order to tighten the sale and tracking of firearms

Most Read