Murder suspect not criminally responsible?
The file of an 18-year-old Kamloops man facing a second-degree murder charge in relation to the death of his father last month is moving up the legal system’s ladder.
Phil Steel, 63, was killed in his Westsyde home on Monday, Sept. 12.
Police arrested the victim’s son, 18-year-old Joshua Isaac Steel, shortly thereafter.
Joshua Steel appeared briefly in Kamloops provincial court on Tuesday, Oct. 11, and had his matters bumped upstairs to B.C. Supreme Court.
Lawyers agreed there will be no preliminary inquiry and Steel’s election is for trial by a B.C. Supreme Court judge and jury — but can be changed to judge alone if both sides agree.
Steel, who has no criminal record, has not yet applied for bail and will remain in custody for the time being.
At Tuesday’s hearing, defence lawyer Don Campbell mentioned the possibility of a not criminally responsible by way of a mental disorder (NCRMD) hearing.
In order for an accused to be found NCRMD, they must first undergo a court-ordered assessment and be found by a doctor to have been suffering from a mental disorder at the time of the alleged incident.
The matter then goes back before a judge, who ultimately decides if the accused should not be held criminally responsible.
If the judge also makes the finding of NCRMD, the file is turned over to the British Columbia Review Board for disposition.
If not, the accused has to enter a plea and have the file proceed as any other criminal matter would.
Steel has yet to enter a plea and no NCRMD assessment has been requested or ordered.
No details of the circumstances surrounding the death of Phil Steel have been made public, but neighbours have told KTW the suspect had been acting erratically and had been subdued by police in the days leading up to the alleged murder.
Joshua Steel is scheduled to appear in B.C. Supreme Court in Kamloops on Oct. 24 to fix a date for trial.