'I love you, mom!': Accused killer makes profanity-laced courtroom outburst
Warning: Some may find the language in this article and the attached video offensive.
An “unbelievable” courtroom outburst from a man accused of killing a Vancouver photographer in Stanley Park left prosecutors and the judge speechless Thursday.
Tyler Lagimodiere, after a day of refusing to attend a procedural hearing for his first-degree murder charge in the death of Lubo Kunik, appeared shirtless by video link, swearing dozens of times even as he noticed his mother in the room.
“You guys can f*** off because you’re f***ing liars. F*** you, f*** your laws, f*** your system, f*** every last f***ing one of you. Sorry mom, I love you, I’ll always love you,” Lagimodiere said in one of several profanity-laden rants.
It was too much for the courtroom, prompting one person in the galley to stand up and yell, “give him to us,” while his mother yelled for him to get a lawyer.
The drama played out in what should be a solemn place for victim Kunik’s friends and family to seek justice, said one of the victim’s friends.
“His behaviour, that language, that profanity—unbelievable,” said Vladimir Knapp, who has known Kunik since 1979 in Slovakia, where the two met climbing in the Tatra mountains.
Knapp broke his leg, and Kunik helped him out, saving his life, he said. The pair eventually reunited in Vancouver.
Police have said Lagimodiere and Kunik didn’t know each other when the 61-year-old photographer was stabbed to death along Stanley Park’s seawall last February. Kunik was just doing what he loved: photographing wildlife in the city, Knapp said.
“I was really upset. It’s not easy. He was my longtime friend,” Knapp said.
Court business resumed when the sheriff muted Lagimodiere’s video feed briefly, but then the volume returned when Lagimodiere said he wanted to represent himself.
“Do I get to talk? I’d like to represent myself, OK? Is that legal? I’m allowed to do that?” Lagimodiere said.
“That is legal,” said the judge.
“Ok, I’m representing myself. I’d like to put it over for 10 years,” he said.
The judge and the prosecutor instead talked about appointing a lawyer to represent him in the complicated case, which involves the forensic evidence that police used to track Lagimodiere down. That prompted another outburst.
“So there is no f***ing law then? Doesn’t f***ing mean s***. Doesn’t matter what the f*** I say?” Lagimodiere said.
Lagimodiere’s court history includes gun convictions, resisting arrest, threatening police officers and bail breaches.
And he’s not the only one in his family with a record.
Court documents show his brother, Lyle, was convicted in a 2007 home invasion where one of his co-accused brandished a two-foot machete.
And another brother, John Eugene Lagimodiere, was caught on video at a SkyTrain station in 2012 stealing an iPad from a young woman with cerebral palsy.
Lagimodiere’s mother didn’t answer questions from CTV News at the hearing. Another court record describes the “difficult circumstances” that Lagimodiere faced growing up with his two brothers, brought up by their mother.
At one point his brother Lyle was placed in care voluntarily “because she could not provide for him adequately,” a judgment says.
Tyler Lagimodiere has not been convicted in the murder.
Knapp says he wants Kunik to be remembered as a man who liked taking photos and was at home in the outdoors.
“He was a cameraman. He knew everything. He was an expert. He liked to see the birds, the wildlife. For him that’s what Canada was about,” Knapp said.