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Mental health of suspect in Czapnik's death 'an issue' - Metro US

Mental health of suspect in Czapnik’s death ‘an issue’

There’s a possibility that a suspended RCMP officer charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of an Ottawa police constable could be found not criminally responsible, a lawyer for the accused said yesterday.

The mental health of Kevin Gregson is “obviously an issue,” lawyer Israel Gencher told reporters outside the Elgin Street courthouse following Gregson’s appearance yesterday morning. “But what the end result is, I cannot say.

“We’ll have him assessed in all likelihood,” he said.

A psychological evaluation “is something that obviously has to be considered given the circumstances. We’ve had preliminary conversations about that with health-care professionals,” he said.

With over a dozen police officers in attendance, Gregson, 43, entered Courtroom 30 dressed in a thin white T-shirt, casual grey pants and blue canvas shoes. He was unshaven and had two small bandages on either side of his neck.

The case was adjourned until 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 19, when Gregson will appear in provincial court by video remand.

“It will likely be another remand and it won’t be necessary to bring him to court, to put on the extra security that the Ottawa police are obviously doing,” Gencher said.

Gencher said he’s not sure if they would be seeking bail at this time, and added he was not in a position to say when the matter would be going to trial, but that there would almost certainly be a jury.

“It’s a complicated matter, it’s a serious matter,” he said.

While there could be a preliminary hearing beforehand, matters could proceed directly to trial, guilty pleas could be entered, or Gregson could be found not criminally responsible.

“I’m not necessarily saying that’s going to happen in this case,” Gencher said of the latter two scenarios. “It’s really impossible to say.”

Gregson’s family members are “doing as well as can be expected,” he said. “It’s difficult for them, of course.”

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