Man found not criminally responsible in Nanaimo coffee shop killing – BC

Man found not criminally responsible in Nanaimo coffee shop killing – BC

Man found not criminally responsible in Nanaimo coffee shop killing – BC

The man accused of killing a senior inside a Nanaimo coffee shop two years ago has been found not criminally responsible by way of a mental disorder.

James Turok was charged with second-degree murder in the February 2022 death of 79-year-old Eric Kutzner, who was found with a dozen stab wounds at Buzz Coffee House.

On Wednesday, a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled that Turok was incapable of discerning right from wrong at the time.

It followed testimony Tuesday from forensic psychiatrist Dr. Robert Lacroix, who told the court Turok suffered from a chronic and persistent mental disorder.


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The court heard that after being detained, Turok repeatedly referred to the victim as a “zombie” or non-human entity, though he could not recall that in later interviews.


Click to play video: 'Family hears details of Nanaimo coffee shop death'


Family hears details of Nanaimo coffee shop death


Lacroix said Turok had been in and out of hospital multiple times since 2012 but was often discharged with no mandated follow-up and suffered from symptoms including agitated paranoia and inflated self-esteem.

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At Wednesday’s hearing, the court also heard Turok presented himself at the Nanaimo hospital three days before the fatal attack, demanding to see a psychologist.

Outside the court on Tuesday, Kutzner’s daughter Francine Baker told Global News she feared her family would never see justice or get all the answers in her father’s death.

“What’s frustrating is basically from 2012, this fellow has had issues and basically nothing has been done about it,” she said.

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