A Lethbridge man accused of trying to kill his parents in February pleaded guilty to attempted murder and assault with a weapon.
Nigel Vermeulen stabbed his parents in the bedroom of their West Lethbridge home as they slept.
An agreed statement of facts was read to the court on Tuesday.
It detailed that the 28-year-old is a selective mute and often doesn’t communicate verbally. It said he rarely left his home, only going to the store with his mother and for walks with his father.
Over the years, he struggled more and more with daily functioning.
Court heard he wrote in a journal how he planned to kill his parents. He also used a camera to record the attack.
His father was stabbed in the neck and his mother in the knee; both have since recovered.
Crown prosecutor Erin Olsen also said Vermeulen told police he felt the only way to start his own life was to kill his parents.
After his arrest, a forensic psychiatrist diagnosed him with autism spectrum disorder, selective mutism, delusional disorder and an unspecified personality disorder.
“I asked him some questions about whether or not he wanted to talk to his parents again and see his parents again, and at this time, much like the way his parents feel, the answer is no,” defence lawyer Greg White said.
The Crown and the defence jointly submitted a sentence of five years behind bars, with credit for time served.
Justice Eric Peterson accepted the joint submission, and told the court both sides took into consideration all factors in this case. He added there seems to be no rational explanation for the perpetration of these crimes.
Vermeulen has requested to serve his time in a psychiatric facility. Peterson said he would make that recommendation.
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