Rylan Twigg walked out of the Lethbridge court house a free man. The manslaughter charge against him was dismissed Tuesday.
His lawyer, Ingrid Hess said a lot of effort went into her clients defence.
Twigg was originally charged with second degree murder in the death of 45-year-old Ken First Rider. At the beginning of the trial the charge was reduced to manslaughter.
A medical examiner determined his cause of death was blunt force trauma.
Justice Johnna C. Kubik ruled Tuesday a videotaped statement to police and re-enactment video were inadmissible. In the video Twigg admits to beating First Rider.
The judge found that Twigg has significant cognitive deficits, he had been intoxicated when he turned himself in at the Lethbridge police station and was going through withdrawl of what is believed to be alcohol and fentanyl. Justice Kubik decided his statements to police were not voluntary.
“That would constitute an inducement or, she did find and made finding that did constitute an inducement.”
The officer who conducted the interrogation and lead the re-enactment testified he thought Twigg was cognitively normal and was just hung over.
The judge also said the officer created a narrative where Twigg thought the officer was his only hope.
She added that police officers have a minimal obligation to notice any type of cognitive deficits and in this case she said there were red flags like Twigg asking for his mother several times, because he said she speaks for him.
He also told officers he possibly suffered from undiagnosed schizophrenia, had been suicidal and also had an head wound.
“If police officers don’t adapt their questioning of people to, you know, take into consideration how they approach an interrogation with someone who has a cognitive disability, then they are likely to have this same outcome.” added Hess.
Once the decision was given the Crown requested the charge against Twigg be dismissed, which the court granted.
The Crown declined to comment on the judges decision.
Danny Scout, the co-accused in this case is still on trial which is set to proceed Wednesday.