Woman who killed boy not criminally responsible: judge
A British Columbia woman on trial for the murder of a 12-year-old autistic boy was found not criminally responsible Friday due to mental disorder.
Both Crown and defence lawyers agreed during the second-degree murder trial of Kimberly Ruth Noyes that she was psychotic when she stabbed John Fulton to death last August in her home in Grand Forks, B.C.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Mark McEwan also agreed, finding the 43-year-old woman wasn't capable of knowing her actions were wrong.
"Her psychosis was the central fact in the killing of John Fulton," the judge told the court.
McEwan said Noyes was actively psychotic and couldn't possibly have faked her illness.
During the trial, the court heard about Noyes' long history of mental illness and her one-time belief that she should sacrifice her own daughter in order to resurrect her.
Noyes' two sisters and eldest daughter recounted for the court problems going back many years, and their efforts to get help.
Noyes had been committed for psychiatric care on several occasions over the years, but was not admitted to the psychiatric ward after an incident the month prior to Fulton's death.
Noyes' sisters sobbed and hugged after the judge read his verdict.
Deanne Gaffar, Noyes' attorney, told reporters outside the courtroom that she was satisfied with the outcome, but such a verdict won't diminish the Fulton family's loss.
"Her mental disorder isn't an excuse, it's an explanation," she said.
Gaffar described Noyes' state after the trial as "delicate."
Noyes will be held in custody and taken to a forensic psychiatry hospital in Port Coquitlam, B.C. A three-member panel will then have 45 days for a review of her condition, before a decision is made on what to do next.
The Crown also asked for and received approval to obtain a sample of Noyes' DNA.
Fulton disappeared from the front steps of his neighbouring home last August. He was found two days later in Noyes' residence.
A forensic psychiatrist testified at the trial that Noyes woke up after killing the boy and believed it had all been a dream.
The trial heard in the weeks before Fulton was found stabbed to death that Noyes had stopped taking medication for her mental illness.
Lauren Graham, Noyes' daughter, testified at the trial that her mother believed Fulton was "the chosen one" and her daughters were an angel and the Virgin Mary.
Graham said Noyes also believed her ex-husband was the devil.
Psychiatrist Dr. Honald Vasi testified that Noyes did not recognize that she had bipolar disorder, refused to take medications, and believed she had supernatural powers.
Vasi said Noyes was diagnosed in 2003 with bipolar disorder, a condition that causes manic delusional episodes as well as suicidal depressions.
Each time she was in a manic phase, he said, she was quite psychotic and completely rejecting the notion that she was mentally ill. Noyes believed her dead father was God, that the devil was in her house and that God was coming in a helicopter to take everyone away.
In August 2007, Vasi saw Noyes again. She told him she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit with seven babies.
In March 2009, her third visit, he said she was aggressive, non-compliant, and had stopped taking medications some months before because she thought she did not need them.
Vasi told the court that he worried Noyes was capable of hurting herself, even taking her own life, but he did not believe she was capable of hurting another person or a child.