Doctor says Lindsay has schizophrenia
Mark Lindsay is either certifiably insane or an incredible actor.
Now it's up to a Kamloops judge to decide the fate of the son of Edmonton's former police chief.
The 26-year-old appeared in B.C. Supreme Court in Kamloops on Friday, March 8, shackled and cuffed to a chain around his waist as a forensic psychiatrist laid out his findings following a two-month assessment last year.
Lindsay was arrested on Sept. 21, 2011, by Kamloops Mounties after he stabbed an undercover officer during a confrontation in a vehicle outside a Barriere gas station.
The officer, whose identity is protected by a court-ordered publication ban, had previously engaged Lindsay is a Mr. Big sting operation, in which police pose as gangsters in an attempt to befriend murder suspects and eventually get them to confess to their crimes.
Less than a month after his arrest, Lindsay stabbed his cellmate at Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre twice in the same eye — once with a pen and once with a pencil — during a game of Scrabble.
In court in Kamloops last August, Lindsay admitted to both crimes — as well as to the murder of his ex-girlfriend, which precipitated the Mr. Big sting — but said he was acting in self-defence.
In his lengthy testimony, Lindsay claimed to have been the target of a group he called the Serial Killers, or Healers, which was out to get him.
He said each of his victims was associated somehow with the group.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Dev Dley ordered Lindsay to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, the results of which were made public for the first time in court on Friday.
Forensic psychiatrist Marcel Hediger said he conducted numerous interviews and observed Lindsay closely over a two-month period between August and October last year.
Hediger said he is of the view Lindsay is schizophrenic, with his condition worsened by "substance-induced psychotic disorder" — a result of Lindsay using drugs or alcohol.
Court heard Lindsay had been drinking prior to both B.C. incidents, including the attack inside KRCC.
"Mr. Lindsay did acknowledge that he had been using substances, primarily alcohol, prior to those incidents," Hediger said.
"It was more so prior to the incident at the gas station and less so with the incident involving his cellmate."
At trial last August, the undercover officer testified Lindsay was periodically taking swigs from a mickey of vodka in the hours leading up to the incident in Barriere, but did not appear to be drunk.
"What do you make of Mr. Lindsay's reporting to us in court [last August] that he knew his story made him look crazy?" Crown prosecutor Will Burrows asked Hediger.
"He had been given that feedback in the past and he was aware that others might think that," the doctor replied.
"That said, Mr. Lindsay seemed fairly convinced about the reality of his concerns."
Hediger said Lindsay was experiencing similar delusions even after his admission to Forensic Psychiatric Hospital at the start of his assessment, contrary to Lindsay's own testimony days earlier that he hadn't "heard from them [the Serial Killers]" in a while.
Court heard Lindsay knew full well the implications of his actions in both B.C. attacks.
"Mr. Lindsay was fully aware at the time of the legal wrongfulness of his actions," Hediger said.
"He himself said he felt that he was morally justified at the time to engage in those behaviours. He said if individuals would accept his version of events, then they would feel he engaged in self-defence."
Burrows also asked Hediger about the significance of Lindsay purchasing a Mr. Big chocolate bar for the undercover Mountie moments before attacking him.
Hediger said Lindsay had "developed concerns about the undercover operative and his intentions," but that the chocolate bar was likely not intended to be a sign.
In an exclusive jailhouse interview with KTW in 2011, Lindsay said he had no idea the man he was with was an undercover police officer.
Defence lawyer Don Campbell asked Hediger about the likelihood Lindsay is "faking" his symptoms.
"That's always a possibility," the doctor replied.
"In my interactions, though, with Mr. Lindsay, over a very consistent period of time and under close observation . . . we certainly had the impression that Mr. Lindsay was floridly psychotic."
Court heard Lindsay was kept in "a seclusion room" at the hospital, where his actions were monitored 24 hours a day.
In his closing submissions, Burrows said the Crown is of the opinion that Lindsay's delusions were behind both B.C. attacks.
"Mr. Lindsay knew what he was doing was contrary to the law," he said.
"He was also pretty clear that society would think it was morally wrong. So, he was aware of both those things but he decided to go ahead because his delusions propelled him that way."
Campbell took that notion a step further, saying Lindsay would have been entitled to attack both men if his delusions were reality.
"It's clear that in both these cases, Mr. Lindsay is trying to kill the undercover officer and his cellmate in order to preserve his life," he said.
"And, if that's the case [in reality], it's not just morally right but it's legally right as well."
It's now up to Dley to decide whether Lindsay should be found NCRMD (not criminally responsible by way of a mental disorder).
Usually, when an offender is labelled NCRMD their file is handed over to the B.C. Review Board for treatment and disposition. However, because Lindsay is still facing a murder charge in Alberta, he will be turned over to Alberta sheriffs when the B.C. matters conclude.
If he is sentenced criminally in Alberta, that sentence would trump his B.C. NCRMD finding until its expiration.
He is due back in court in Red Deer on April 8.
Dley said he expects to have a decision before then. The matter will return to court on Monday, March 11, to fix a date for sentencing.
Lindsay, who has until recently been held at a provincial prison in Alberta, will remain in custody in B.C. until he is sentenced.