Daniel Goodridge has been found not criminally responsible for the fatal stabbing attacks at a work camp near Fox Creek in 2015.
In a one hour and 15-minute reading of his decision, Justice Ken Nielsen found that while Goodridge did cause the deaths of David Derksen and Hally Dubois, plus committed the assaults on three others, he is not criminally responsible, as set out in the law in the Criminal Code of Canada.
Nielsen said he gave significant weight to the testimony of two experts; doctors who had examined Goodridge after the attacks.
Goodridge has a mental health history dating back to Grade 7 and has been diagnosed with a form of Schizophrenia, plus other mental health issues.
Nielsen concluded by saying that these were truly innocent victims and that this was a tragedy all around.
Goodridge had been facing two first degree murder charges in the stabbing deaths of 37-year-old David Derksen of La Crete and 50-year-old Hally Dubois of Red Deer, along with three counts of assault with a weapon and one of interfering with a dead body.
Chief Crown Prosecutor Steven Hinkley says there is no doubt there was a lot of difficult evidence at this trial.
"There's no doubt that each person who has dealt with this, and I am sure you saw the judge, even he was struggling at times reading through the decision, it's been a very emotional, very traumatic experience for everybody involved. I'm confident, from having heard the decision, that Justice Nielsen heard the law, heard the facts, and made a decision."
Hinkley says the Crown will review the judge's 30-page written decision. He adds Goodridge will be hospitalized until a hearing takes place.
"The court has made an order that Mr. Goodridge be detained at (Alberta Hospital) until the Alberta Review Board convenes to decide what will be next in dealing with him. By law, they are supposed to convene within the next 45 days to make a decision. They can ask for an extension, but they are supposed to do it within 45 days."
Hinkley says there are three things that could happen.
"They can continue to detain him in hospital and treat him. They can deal with him by having him on what's called a conditional discharge He's still under their review and bound by what they tell him to do, but has more freedom and is allowed in and out on passes or to be out in the community, and finally to be out on an absolute discharge."
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