POLITICS

Glen Race to plead guilty to murdering two men in Nova Scotia in 2007: defence

09/27/2013 10:10 EDT | Updated 11/27/2013 05:12 EST
HALIFAX - The lawyer for a Nova Scotia man charged with killing two men in 2007 says his client will plead guilty to first- and second-degree murder when he appears in court in Halifax on Monday.

Joel Pink said in an interview Friday that Glen Race will plead guilty to the charges in Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

Pink said he will also make an application after the plea to adjourn the matter to Nov. 4 so that he can try to prove that Race is not criminally responsible. He will also ask that a conviction not be entered so the court can hear evidence on the argument of criminal responsibility.

The Nova Scotia Supreme Court had set aside up to two months for the trial, but Pink said the hearing Monday will be brief. Race had previously waived his right to a preliminary inquiry.

Race is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of 44-year-old Michael Knott and 45-year-old Trevor Brewster in May 2007. Knott's body was found on a wooded path in southwestern Nova Scotia on May 5, 2007. Brewster's body was found four days later under a boardwalk at a lake in Halifax.

Race, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when he was a young man, was extradited from the United States in October 2010 to face the charges. At the time of his extradition, he was serving a life sentence for the 2007 shooting death of Darcy Manor in New York state. The prosecution alleged during the trial that Race shot Manor, 35, in the back at a secluded hunting lodge.

Race's trial heard that he crossed the border into the United States following the deaths of the two Halifax-area men. He was arrested in Brownsville, Texas, several days after Manor's slaying.

Pink said there would be an agreed statement of facts on Nov. 4 and then the defence will present two psychiatrists, while the Crown is expected to hear evidence from one psychiatrist.

"This is the proper way to go because the evidence, based on the psychiatric evidence, will be that he was not criminally responsible," Pink said. "There's a long history of medical records showing that Glen Race has in fact suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. It's not something that's new."

Chris Hansen, a spokeswoman with the Public Prosecution Service, said the Crown is anticipating a guilty plea on Monday. But she said it is the Crown’s job to lay out the evidence and let the court decide when it comes to whether Race is not criminally responsible, or NCR.

“After (the plea), NCR is going to become an issue,” she said. “And it will be up to the judge to decide that.”

Race could face extradition back to the States 45 days after the matter is settled in Halifax to continue serving his life sentence. But Pink said lawyers in New York are looking at the case there to see if there are grounds of appeal.

"It's a matter seeing whether or not there is a way he could get a new trial in New York," he said.