Man found not criminally responsible for mother’s death due to mental disorder

Ryan Lamontagne appearing in Halifax provincial court on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019. Reynold Gregor/Global News

WARNING: This story contains graphic details that readers may find disturbing. Discretion is advised.

A Nova Scotia judge says a man who killed his mother and mutilated her remains is not criminally responsible due to his mental disorder.

Judge Joshua Arnold of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia announced the ruling on Wednesday, with the court concluding that 27-year-old Ryan Lamontagne had undiagnosed schizophrenia, which led him to be in a delusional, disorganized and psychotic state during the killing of his mother and mutilation of her body.

On Oct. 22, 2019, Lamontagne was found by police in the backyard of his home in Halifax with the body of his mother, 65-year-old Linda Lamontagne, as he attempted to bury her in daylight hours.

Read more: Man, 26, charged in connection with mother’s death completes mental health assessment

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At the time, he was charged with second-degree murder and with indecently interfering with human remains.

According to the postmortem examination of the victim, Linda’s death was determined to be caused by multiple injuries.

The examination showed that among the multiple injuries she has suffered, both of her hands were broken, her scalp was removed from her skull and following X-ray and dissection, a cross necklace pendant was located in Linda’s throat.

Court documents stated that following Ryan’s arrest, he gave police a 16-hour video-recorded statement. During that statement, he admitted that he killed and mutilated Linda.

Read more: Halifax police seek witness who may have given a ride to alleged killer

“He also made bizarre and delusional statements,” according to the documents, saying that his mother had been “transformed into a snake, a prophet, a zombie and/or a gingerbread man.”

“At times he has difficulty discerning between reality from fantasy and his thoughts were disorganized,” the documents stated.

According to the court, Lamontagne had a mental disorder at the time of the offences and his schizophrenia caused him to enter a psychotic state at the time he killed and mutilated his mother.

Court documents stated that Lamontagne’s initial disposition hearing will be heard by the review board.

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Disposition hearings are reserved for people found unfit to stand trial or not criminally responsible and give the court a chance to “make a disposition in respect of the accused.”

According to the Criminal Code, a disposition hearing can result in an accused being detained at a hospital, discharged with conditions or discharged absolutely.

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