Man who pleaded guilty to Stanley Park murder wants to withdraw plea
VANCOUVER -- A man who pleaded guilty last winter to a fatal stabbing in Stanley Park three years ago has now told the court he wants to withdraw that plea, against the advice of his lawyer.
The unexpected turn of events came during what was supposed to be part of the sentencing process for Tyler Lagimodiere at a hearing Monday in Vancouver Supreme Court.
Lagimodiere was originally charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of 61-year-old Lubo Kunik, whose body was found along a section of the Stanley Park seawall in February 2017.
Police have said the victim and the accused did not know each other. It was believed Kunik, an avid photographer, was out taking pictures the night he was killed.
During Monday's appearance, the volume on Lagimodiere's video was reduced by the court at times when he began ranting and yelling, at one point saying the proceedings were not fair, and talked about getting a new lawyer.
"This is a conspiracy anyway," Lagimodiere said. "What kind of life am I supposed to have after you (expletive) drag my name through the fricking papers for the whole (expletive) world to see?"
Lagimodiere's lawyer Brian Coleman told the court he does not think withdrawing the plea is in his client's best interest, and raised the idea of Lagimodiere being seen by a psychiatrist.
"I know the specifics of what he's asking for, but it makes no sense. It makes no common sense, no legal sense whatsoever, and I think he's irrational right now, and that's what the problem is," Coleman told CTV News outside court, and added the judge wants to make sure whatever happens, Lagimodiere is capable of understanding.
"And I'm not sure that his current behaviour allows you to come to that conclusion."
Lagimodiere's mother was in court, along with a couple who said they were close friends of Kunik.
The case has now been adjourned until Aug. 19. Madam Justice Mary Humphries told Lagimodiere he can let her know at that time how he intends to proceed, and she will decide if a fitness hearing is something that needs to be considered.
"You're not going to drag this out forever," Justice Humphries told Lagimodiere. "We're going to move it along, one way or another."