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Toronto man found not criminally responsible in death of roommate who was stabbed 281 times

Toronto man found not criminally responsible in death of roommate who was stabbed 281 times
WATCH ABOVE: A judge agreed with a joint submission by the Crown and defence that Shafaq Joya was suffering from a psychotic episode when he brutally stabbed Mohamad Milon. Catherine McDonald has the story.

WARNING: This story contains graphic details.

The second-degree murder trial for a 31 year-old man accused of fatally stabbing his roommate to death in February 2016 has ended.

Just two hours after the trial began, a judge ruled the accused, Shafaq Joya, is not criminally responsible after a joint recommendation by the Crown and the defence.

According to an agreed statement of facts, Joya was in his basement apartment in the Pharmacy Avenue and St. Clair Avenue East area on or about Feb. 25 when he heard a loud voice tell him to kill his 19-year-old roommate Mohamad Milon, an international student from Bangladesh who was studying at the University of Toronto.

READ MORE: What happens when a killer is found not criminally responsible?

The voice said “kill him before he kills you.” Joya believed Milon was a demon and he needed to kill him.

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Two days later, a girlfriend of Joya’s was unable to reach him. She went to the basement apartment and found the door unlocked. Police were called and discovered Milon in his bedroom with 281 stab wounds and stab-incised wounds to his head, nose, mouth and all his major organs. He also attempted to remove Milon’s heart, part of his liver and his mandible.

The following day, officers posted inside the house heard footsteps coming from the upstairs of the house. Joya appeared in his underwear with a sheet over his shoulders and socks on his hands. He had been hiding in the crawl space of the home. A large knife was located in a nearby washroom and Joya was arrested. He coherently answered police questions and told police that Milon had attacked him.

READ MORE: What is Not Criminally Responsible?

Justice John McMahon accepted the evidence of forensic psychiatrists who examined Joya for the Crown and the defence. Both found that Joya was suffering from schizophrenia at the time of the killing and was not criminally responsible.

Dr. Gary Chaimowitz, a forensic psychiatrist, testified that Joya suffered from an acute psychotic episode on the day of the killing. He was first diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2012 but often refused to take his medication. His family also struggled to get him help in the years after he was diagnosed.

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Chaimowitz said on the day Milon was stabbed to death, “His mind was on fire. He was seeing demons. He was feeling persecuted. He thought he was eliminating a demon. He didn’t think he was killing a person.”

McMahon told the court he is satisfied that because of schizophrenia.

“(Joya) was unable to appreciate the nature and quality of the act and unable to appreciate that the act was morally wrong,” he said.

McMahon said Joya’s “bizarre and violent actions were consistent with seeing demons and being commandeered.”

Joya will spend the weekend at the Toronto East Detention Centre in protective custody before being transferred to St Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto on Monday.

McMahon ordered the matter now go before the Ontario Review Board to make decisions about treatment for Joya.