Vernon and North Okanagan
Dementia and murder
Sep 25, 2013 / 11:04 am
Mental stability and intention to murder are the two questions facing Crown Counsel in the case of a 95-year-old man charged in murdering his care home roommate in Vernon.
The accused, John Furman, is said to be suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia.
An application is before the Supreme Court in Kamloops Wednesday from the Crown requesting an official Mental Health Assessment to be done on Furman. Once completed Crown will be able to determine if there is a reasonable determination that they can prove intent and proceed with criminal charges.
Furman’s Defence Counsel Glenn Verdurmen says the future of this case rides on the Mental Health Assessment, “Today in the BC Supreme Court there is going to be an order requested under the mental health act that he undergo assessment at a place called Hillside in Kamloops and I think that will be very determinative of the matter concerning his capacity to commit the crime.”
If after the assessment, Crown does proceed with charges his lawyer believes there would be a strong argument for, ‘Not Criminally Responsible due to a Mental Disorder’ or ‘Not Fit to Stand Trial,’ but also feels due to his age and circumstances charges may not proceed.
Furman was a long-term staple in the Vernon community and had an exemplary record.
“In these particular circumstances he is 95 years of age, he has a very good record in the community, he was a member of the Devil's Brigade and I can tell by the number of people here today that he was very well loved by the community,” says Verdurmen.
Furman remains under psychiatric care and watch in Kamloops, his next court appearance for arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 27 in Vernon at which time the Mental Health Assessment is expected to have been completed.
“The criminal system is very much waiting to see what the mental health system says,” says Verdurmen. “I think the mental health assessment is going to have a big impact on the decision making of the Crown and whether charges will proceed.”
Read more Vernon / N. Okanagan News
- Push ups to save wife's teeth Dec 5
- Water main break in Vernon Dec 5
- Lumby RCMP looking for volunteers Dec 5
- Enderby home destroyed by fire Dec 4
- Vernon man stabbed in his home Dec 4
- Salmon Arm home invasion Dec 3
- Icy roads keep Salmon Arm RCMP busy Dec 3