A man believed to have been mentally ill when he allegedly got involved in a 12-hour standoff with Mounties has responded to treatment, and is believed to be fit to stand trial.
However, he will be assessed to determine whether he could be found not criminally responsible by way of a mental disorder at the time of the alleged offences.
Grant Andrew Lapierre is charged with assault with a weapon, careless use of a firearm and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.
It’s alleged that, on the evening of Feb. 21, a man who was struggling with mental health issues hit his wife in the head with a metal detector during a domestic dispute at their Rapid City home.
The wife fled the house and heard gunshots from inside.
The RCMP Emergency Response Team was called around 10 p.m. and the situation ended at 10:40 a.m. the next day when officers entered the home and arrested the suspect.
Inside the house, police found six rifles, three shotguns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
It’s alleged that the husband had blasted the bathroom mirror with a shotgun because that’s where the “spirits” would appear.
Lapierre, who has been held in custody, was examined by a psychiatrist who determined that he showed symptoms of psychosis believed to stem from schizophrenia.
Based on the psychiatrist’s findings, on Sept. 10 Judge Shauna Hewitt-Michta ruled Lapierre unfit to stand trial and ordered that he undergo treatment.
However, Lapierre’s condition seems to have since improved.
In court on Monday, Crown attorney Jim Ross pointed to a forensic report that indicated a psychiatrist has determined Lapierre fit to stand trial.
“It shouldn’t be an issue now based on the report,” defence lawyer Bob Harrison agreed.
Following court, Harrison confirmed that his client has responded to treatment and was moved from a psychiatric ward to the Brandon jail.
However, the issue of whether Lapierre could still be found not criminally responsible remains.
At Ross’ request, Judge Hewitt-Michta ordered that Lapierre be assessed on the issue of criminal responsibility at the forensic services unit at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg.
That assessment will be done on Dec. 2 and Lapierre’s next court date is Dec. 5.
Meanwhile, the 34-year-old will remain in custody.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 29, 2013