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Expert says man accused of killing ailing wife had disturbed state of mind

Michel Cadotte, accused of murder in the 2017 death of his ailing wife in what has been described as a mercy killing, returns to the courtroom to testify in Montreal on Friday, February 1, 2019.
Michel Cadotte, accused of murder in the 2017 death of his ailing wife in what has been described as a mercy killing, returns to the courtroom to testify in Montreal on Friday, February 1, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

A psychologist testifying at the trial of a man accused of murdering his ailing wife says the accused had a disturbed state of mind at the time of her death.

Michel Parisien took the stand Thursday as the final defence witness at the second-degree murder trial of Michel Cadotte.

READ MORE: Depression clouded judgment of man accused of killing ailing wife: psychiatrist

Cadotte told the jury Monday that he suffocated his wife, Jocelyne Lizotte, because he wanted to end her suffering. Lizotte, 60, was living in a long-term care centre with late-stage Alzheimer’s disease.

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Parisien says he met with Cadotte four times last spring and administered tests demonstrating a state of distress that existed well before Feb. 20, 2017 — the day of the killing.

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The psychologist says Cadotte was caught between a desire to ensure his wife got the best care and her previously expressed desire not to live in such a condition. Parisien noted that a severe depression diagnosis from 2013 suggests Cadotte’s distress was long-standing.

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On Wednesday, a psychiatrist testified Cadotte was suffering from depression that affected his ability to make decisions, but he wasn’t psychotic and knew right from wrong.

Under cross-examination Tuesday, Cadotte acknowledged that he was aware of what he was doing and the consequences of his actions.

READ MORE: Montreal man on trial for murder of ailing wife testifies about her death

A year before the killing, Cadotte had sought a medically assisted death for Lizotte but was told she didn’t qualify because she was not at the end of her life and could not consent.

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