NEWS

Crown challenges view that Kachkar not responsible for officer's death

03/12/2013 07:57 EDT | Updated 05/12/2013 05:12 EDT
A psychiatrist who examined Richard Kachkar was cross-examined in a Toronto courtroom on Tuesday, with the Crown challenging the suggestion that the accused wasn't criminally responsible for his actions at the time that a police officer was killed.

Kachkar is on trial for the first-degree murder of Sgt. Ryan Russell, a veteran Toronto police officer who was hit and killed by a snowplow on Jan. 12, 2011.

The 46-year-old Kachkar has pleaded not guilty.

When the trial started, the judge told the jury there is no question that Kachkar was behind the wheel of the vehicle that killed the police officer.

What is in question is the state of mind of the accused.

The defence is trying to make the case that Kachkar is not criminally responsible.

Dr. John Bradford began testifying at Kachkar’s trial on Monday. He was called by the defence.

On Tuesday, Bradford testified that he believes that Kachkar was in a psychotic state when Russell was killed.

The psychiatrist testified that Kachkar "was not in contact with reality" and that "he was fleeing, in his own mind, from a risk or persons that would harm him."

But the Crown replayed a video of Kachkar advancing on the police cruiser driven by Russell, moments before he was killed — suggesting that the accused was not fleeing, but on the attack.

The Crown argued Kachkar may be mentally ill, but was still coherent and criminally responsible.

Before Russell was killed, Kachkar asked for directions and also recognized a bus driver he had met years before, the Crown said

"I'm going to suggest that all of these aspects are showing someone that’s functioning quite well," said Crown attorney Christine McGoey.

Bradford responded: "You may be right."

The trial continues on Wednesday.

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