HALIFAX - A man who has pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing two Halifax men in May 2007 showed a chilling lack of emotion when he described the murders only four months later, but an expert in forensic psychiatry says he wasn't surprised by Glen Race's demeanour, given his severe mental illness.
Dr. Stephen Hucker, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto, told a hearing Wednesday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court that Race should be declared not responsible for the crimes because his diseased mind was incapable of appreciating that what he was doing was morally wrong.
"At the end of the day, if the 'not-criminally-responsible defence' doesn't apply to Glen Race, then it shouldn't apply to anybody," Hucker testified.
Race, 32, pleaded guilty in September to first-degree murder in the death of Trevor Brewster and second-degree murder in Michael Knott's death. However, Race's lawyer, Joel Pink, has filed an application with the court to have his client declared not criminally responsible because he was too mentally ill.
Hucker said Race has likely suffered from psychotic symptoms associated with schizophrenia since 2001.
The psychiatrist said when he first spoke to Race about the murders in September 2007, Race's emotional reaction was flat — a symptom typical of those with full-blown schizophrenia.
Hucker also testified that even though Race appeared outwardly stable after the killings and managed to flee 5,000 kilometres south to within sight of the Mexican border, he can't be held responsible for the murders because he was motivated by deeply held psychotic beliefs.
He said when he asked Race if he was responsible for what happened to his victims, Race said he was ordered by heavenly commands to kill vampires and demons, and that he wasn't really at the crime scenes because he didn't really exist, except as a god.
Hucker said the more Race talked, the less coherent he became. Again, the psychiatrist said this type of "thought disorder" was not unusual for someone with untreated schizophrenia.
Reading from a report he submitted to the court, Hucker quoted Race as saying, "I'm quite a substantial spirit myself ... In April (2007) I was God ... I got sent to Halifax to wage a war on demons."
At one point during their conversation, Race talked about killing Brewster, who like Knott was a gay man known to frequent secluded spots in Halifax where sexual liaisons are common, the court heard.
Race said Brewster had "glowing red eyes ... Satan in there. Obviously, he's a demon." Race went on to describe how Brewster "wanted something sexual," but the pair got into a struggle and "I did do the death."
Knott was stabbed to death on May 1, 2007 in the front seat of his car while parked near the Citadel Hill historic site in downtown Halifax. Brewster was stabbed and bludgeoned six days later near Frenchman Lake, a secluded spot in an industrial park.
When Hucker asked Race what motivated him to kill Knott and Brewster, he said: "It all boils down to being tormented by this satanic person ... I had to attack this satanic person but instead I killed two other so-called men ... They had sold their souls to the devil."
Race added: "Gays are easy targets ... because they got me into their personal space for what the situation demanded."
Hucker said he first spoke to Race at the Clinton County Jail in Plattsburgh, N.Y., where Race was being held after he fatally shot Darcy Manor at a remote hunting lodge in Upstate New York on May 10, 2007 — three days after he killed Brewster.
Race was extradited from the United States in October 2010 to face the charges in Halifax.
The hearing continues Thursday with testimony expected from another psychiatric expert.
Crown attorney Paul Carver has said Race could face extradition to the U.S. 45 days after the matter is settled in Halifax. However, Pink has said he intends to consult with lawyers in New York to see if there are grounds for an appeal.