11/20/2014 06:35 EST | Updated 01/20/2015 05:59 EST

Man, 19, charged in boy's stabbing on Newfoundland soccer field fit for trial

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - A man charged in the stabbing of an 11-year-old boy on a soccer field in Newfoundland has been found mentally fit to stand trial after a 60-day psychiatric assessment.

Nicholas Layman is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.

The 19-year-old man will be held at the Waterford psychiatric hospital in St. John's until Jan. 8, when he is expected to elect to be tried in provincial or Supreme Court.

His defence lawyer Joan Dawson said outside court that Layman has consented to remain in custody but could request a bail hearing at any time.

She filed an application in provincial court Thursday requesting Layman stay at the psychiatric hospital.

"That is to make sure that he keeps fit," she said outside court.

Judge Greg Brown agreed after reviewing a letter from psychiatrist Jasbir Gill.

Dawson said Gill assessed whether Layman fulfilled mental fitness requirements under the Criminal Code. They include his ability to instruct a defence lawyer and follow the legal process, she said outside court.

"Does the person understand what a plea means of guilty or not guilty? Is that person aware of the officers of the court: the judge, the Crown prosecutor and defence? Do they know what those people are for?"

Dawson declined to discuss any other details about her client's mental health.

The stabbing happened Sept. 25 on a soccer field in Conception Bay South, near St. John's. The young victim was attacked during an evening skills clinic attended by many young players and their families.

He was released from hospital last month.

Layman's family left court Thursday without comment.

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