Closing arguments to be held tomorrow in murder trial

  • Wed Mar 2nd, 2016 3:39pm
  • News

Closing arguments are expected to take place in Red Deer’s Court of Queen’s Bench tomorrow for the trial of a man held to determine whether or not he is criminally responsible for murdering a woman in 2011.

Mark Lindsay, 29, was charged in 2011 after the body of his then girlfriend, Dana Turner, 31, was found in a ditch near Innisfail. Lindsay, who is the adopted son of a former Edmonton police chief, is also charged with offering indignity to a body and obstruction of justice.

Lindsay has admitted to murdering Turner by stabbing her in the eyes with a pencil, strangling her and running over her with a vehicle, but the trial is being held to determine whether or not he is criminally responsible for Turner’s death.

Dr. Peter Rodd, a forensic psychologist testified last week that he does not believe that Lindsay suffers from mental illness, as evidenced by his actions during interviews with Lindsay and Lindsay’s behaviour while incarcerated.

“(His actions are) not consistent with mental illness – they are organized and purposeful,” said Rodd. “There is no objective clinical data to say that Mr. Lindsay was suffering from psychosis episodes.”

Records from various sources were entered into court record to show examples of deliberate behaviour by Lindsay as opposed to mental illness.

Court heard that in 2012 Lindsay engaged normally with guards at a remand centre but also forced himself to vomit as well as pick at the door aggressively and leave feces on the floor. “This shows volitional behaviour rather than mental illness,” said Rodd.

That same year records show that Lindsay slit his wrists because he wanted to see a psychologist so he could be given medications that he wanted.

Another record showed a staff member at the prison stating Lindsay was, “Largely not responsive most days but there was a ‘gamesy’ quality to some of his interactions.”

Court heard that one psychologist reported there was no evidence of Lindsay having a mental illness and that he was mostly medication-seeking.

“His behaviour seemed to be purposeful and not an example of disorganized behaviour,” said Rodd, adding Lindsay’s behaviour is as a result of being incarcerated. “His behaviour doesn’t support the presence of mental illness.

“There is a suggestion that he is aware of the wrongfulness of his actions. He is aware of what his acts would do – that stabbing an individual in the eye would result in their rapid demise – so there was some appreciation for how his actions would end,” he said, adding that Lindsay had a history of substance abuse, a history of violence and a history of impulsiveness – all contributing factors to Turner’s death in his opinion.

Closing arguments will get underway tomorrow morning.

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com