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Salmon Arm  

Matrix Gathergood in psychotic state when man shot

Shooter pleads not guilty

UPDATE 4:20 p.m.

BC Supreme court justice Sheri Ann Donegan is expected to rule Wednesday afternoon in the trial of Matrix Savage Gathergood.

Gathergood is charged with shooting and killing Gordon Parmenter in April 2019, and his trial started Tuesday.

Donegan heard from an expert witness that Gathergood was in schizophrenic psychosis when he murdered Parmenter in the Church of Christ and not criminally responsible for his actions.

Crown Counsel Alison Buchanan did not dispute a summation by defence lawyer Jonathon Avis that Gathergood was mentally unwell at the time of the shooting and that he did not realize what he was doing.

Donegan is expected to render her decision today at 2 p.m. in a Salmon Arm court room.


ORIGINAL

The murder trial of Matrix Savage Gathergood is being held in a Salmon Arm courtroom. In Tuesday morning proceedings, the defence said Gathergood was too mentally-ill to be found responsible for his actions.

Gathergood is accused of the April 2019 first-degree murder of Gordon Parmenter during a church service at the Church of Christ.

Gathergood shot Parmenter with a shotgun, exited the church before coming back a few minutes later and shooting Parmenter two more times before he was wrestled to the ground.

Gathergood had a long relationship with Parmenter and court was told he viewed Parmenter as a father figure, but defence lawyer Jonathon Avis said his client was in a schizophrenic state when he shot Parmenter and is not criminally responsible for the murder.

Dr. Adrian Kochak was brought in as an expert witness on Gathergood's state of mind when the shooting occurred.

Kochak testified Gathergood was diagnosed with schizophrenia and should not be criminally responsible for his actions due to a mental disorder.

Kochak, an expert in forensic psychiatry, met with Gathergood several times and said the 25 year old struggled with delusions, paranoia and believed Parmenter was going to harm him.

“He believed he was in danger from different people at different times and he believed he was in danger from Mr. Parmenter,” said Kochak.

“He believed his life was in danger and acted on those beliefs.”

However, Kochak said because of the mental state he was in, Gathergood was not able to understand what he was doing was wrong.

Court also heard Gathergood believed there was a microphone inside of him, recording everything he said and that the police were in on it. Gathergood also claimed he could hear the voice of God.

After his arrest, Gathergood said Parmenter had threatened him, a claim Kochak could not completely deny, but felt was untrue.

Court also heard how friends and family reported Gathergood's decline in mental health leading up to the shooting.

Sporting a long beard and wearing a blue toque, Gathergood appeared in Supreme Court by video and pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder for killing Parmenter and to aggravated assault for wounding another man.

Crown Counsel Alison Buchanan and Avis are expected to make closing submissions Tuesday afternoon.



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