Further psychiatric assessment needed for man accused in UBC Okanagan killing

Click to play video: 'B.C. man charged with murder in death of university security guard'
B.C. man charged with murder in death of university security guard
WATCH: 22-year-old Dante Ognibene-Hebbourn has been charged with second degree murder in connection to a death of a security guard at UBC Okanagan’s campus – Apr 6, 2022

Further psychiatric evaluation is needed for the Kelowna, B.C., man accused of killing a UBC Okanagan security guard.

Dante Ognibene-Hebbourn is charged with the second degree murder of Harmandeep Kaur on Feb. 26, 2022. At the time of the incident, Ognibene-Hebbourn was employed as a janitor and working at the university, and Kaur was there working as a security guard. He’s been in custody for months awaiting a trial and on Monday,  it became clear that the wait would be prolonged.

Click to play video: 'Family of UBCO security guard ‘devastated’ by her death'
Family of UBCO security guard ‘devastated’ by her death

Grant Gray, and Crown counsel David Grabavac, indicated that the original trial date of April 29 wasn’t going to fly due to some emerging needs.

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Gray has ordered a new mental health assessment of Ognibene-Hebbourn, who was taken into custody and detained in hospital in the immediate aftermath of Kaur’s death.

Click to play video: 'Prayer service held in Kelowna for slain UBCO security guard'
Prayer service held in Kelowna for slain UBCO security guard

The defence lawyer said that the report on file read as “ambivalent,” precipitating a call for a new report. The pending forensic psychiatry report is expected to offer a view on whether Ognibene-Hebbourn will or won’t be viewed as not criminally responsible for the crime of which he’s accused.

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Depending on the results of that report, Grabavac will also likely have to order his own assessment of Ognibene-Hebbourn’s mental state at the time of the alleged crime.

At this point, the potential 15-day trial looks like it won’t be possible until sometime in November.

While the report may slow down the process, another decision made at the opening of the voir dire, the process that determines the admissibility of evidence in the context of the larger trial, could expedite matters. Ognibene-Hebbourn told the judge that he was now choosing to be tried by a judge alone, not by a jury as he was previously expected to do.

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Click to play video: 'Security guard at UBC Okanagan killed; RCMP investigate homicide'
Security guard at UBC Okanagan killed; RCMP investigate homicide

During the voir dire the judge also accepted a statement of fact, including nine pages of police statements.

Kaur, 24, was working as a security guard at UBC Okanagan and RCMP said it was Feb. 26 at 5:55 a.m. when she was fatally attacked. She was a student at Okanagan College and in the weeks before her death she got her permanent residency card.

Her family said she’d been in the country for five years and had aspirations to be a paramedic.

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