Aaron Guilbault, 33, has been found not criminally responsible for the murder of his father Timothy Guilbault, 58.
Aaron was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Timothy. He pleaded not guilty by reason of not being criminally responsible.
Timothy, a former Red Deer City councillor from 1986 to 1995 and a Calgary businessman was found dead at his cottage in Red Lodge Estates near Innisfail on Nov. 5, 2012.
Justice Monica Bast handed down her verdict in Red Deer’s Court of Queen’s Bench last Thursday. Before her decision, she said it had to be determined whether or not Aaron had an underlying mental disorder at the time of the offense, whether Aaron was suffering from symptoms of a mental disorder at the time of the offense and whether a mental disorder rendered the fact that Aaron knew what he was doing was wrong (in killing his father).
“There was an underlying Schizophrenia disorder; Aaron was actively ill at the time he killed his father and Aaron was indifferent during his arrest; his post offense conduct in that he did not flee or try to hide Tim’s body, he cried when he told a friend that he had killed his father and went back to the cabin and took a picture of his father’s body. Aaron also continued to believe he did the right thing – he had revelations telling him so.
“Aaron was not criminally responsible based on the fact that his mental disorder rendered him incapable of knowing the act was wrong.”
In the Agreed Statement of Facts which were presented to court during the two-week trial, it said Timothy traveled to the cabin in Red Lodge Estates on Nov. 3rd, 2012. Once he arrived, Aaron attacked him and struck him in the back of the head with a black baseball bat outside of the home. Timothy got inside the cabin and was struck in the back of the head again by Aaron. Timothy died of blunt force trauma.
On Nov. 5th, Aaron returned to the cabin and took a photo of Timothy’s body which was lying face down on the ground. His head was covered with a piece of clothing that Aaron had placed there.
Caroline Guilbault, Aaron’s sister and Timothy’s daughter, found Timothy’s body in the cabin on that same day.
During the trial two expert witnesses testified in Aaron’s defense saying he suffered from Schizophrenia at the time of the murder.
Dr. Sergio Santana, a forensic psychiatrist in Calgary, treated Aaron after his arrest from February 2013 to last April and a couple more times since then while Aaron has been in custody. During an assessment in early 2013, Santana determined Aaron was fit to stand trial. He also concluded in a report later that same year that Aaron was not criminally responsible for the murder of his father.
Santana testified that Aaron expressed delusional ideations regarding a classmate he had met at Red Deer College.
“He said he was designated by God to be her partner.”
In talking with Aaron’s mother and sister, Santana said he believes Aaron began displaying symptoms of psychosis in 2009. His history of mental illness included being admitted to the Red Deer Regional Hospital in December 2011 after he slit his wrists. He was also admitted to Ponoka hospital in 2012 as well.
“He was obsessed with God, he became increasingly religious and he talked about love all of the time. He also had some form of hearing voices,” he said.
Santana added that Aaron began to believe his father was an evil being.
“I believe (Aaron began thinking that his father was evil) because his father discouraged him to contact his classmate – the person that Aaron thought God had chosen for him,” he said. “Aaron began to believe that Tim would rape all the women he loved including his classmate.
“Aaron said when Tim came to the house (before his death) he gave him a hockey stick and began putting questions to him about faith. Aaron didn’t think Tim had answers and Tim looked like something that wasn’t human – like an evil spirit. Aaron thought Tim said he was looking for his classmate but he couldn’t find her and that sealed his fate.
“Aaron believed he did the right thing (in murdering his father) and afterwards he had revelations that said he did the right thing. He appreciated killing his father but he did not know it was wrong. In his psychotic mind he thought he was saving the world and the people that he loved.”
Meanwhile, Aaron will continue to be detained in custody. A review panel will hold a disposition in 45 days to determine whether or not Aaron will be transferred to a mental health institution for treatment of his mental disorder.