Mark Damien Lindsay has been found guilty of second degree murder.
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, has admitted to murdering Turner by stabbing her in the eyes with a pencil, strangling her and running over her with a vehicle.
Lindsay’s lawyers had argued over the course of his trial, held earlier this year, that Lindsay was not criminally responsible for Turner’s death and that he was suffering from schizophrenia at the time of the murder.
Justice Eldon Simpson handed down his decision in Red Deer’s Court of Queen’s Bench last Friday.
“I am not satisfied that he was suffering from a disease of the mind at the time of the offense,” he said, adding he believes Lindsay knew what he was doing. “His conduct after showed purposeful and logical steps to cover up.”
Wendy Yurko, Turner’s mother, said there is no real closure after Lindsay was found guilty of second degree murder.
“We cannot fix my family. My family is like a beautiful glass vase that was smashed into a billion pieces,” she said. “I feel that at least I can go to bed knowing that another young lady isn’t going to have her eyes pushed into her brain with a pencil, be strangled and then have her body ridden over with her own car – at least while he’s locked up.”
During the trial defense lawyer Kent Teskey said Lindsay was mentally ill at the time of the offense.
“Mr. Lindsay was profoundly ill in 2011 when the index offense took place,” he said, adding that records show that Lindsay has suffered from mental illness since 2005. “Mr. Lindsay has a disease of the mind which is schizophrenia and that was not contradicted (throughout the trial). Dana Turner died a horrific, violent and tragic death,” said Teskey. He added the question is what was the mental state of Lindsay during that time?
He said even though Lindsay has admitted to substance abuse, Lindsay would not continue to show any signs of psychosis if it was substance induced like the crown has alleged during the trial.
“We heard that once withdrawals are complete, symptoms should subside,” said Teskey. “Mr. Lindsay continues to be psychotic with abstinence and continues to be psychotic today.”
Defense Lawyer Curtis Steeves added Lindsay believed that Turner was a supernatural woman. “He was scared of this supernatural woman that he was about to kill.”
Teskey added Lindsay’s ‘delusional system’ got completely out of control as he continued to believe there were healers and assassins and he was going to be killed imminently.
“There was this obsessive aspect of his life and it had taken over his life in 2011. He thought Dana was going to kill him and as delusional as it was, there was some authenticity to it,” he added. “There was a gradual build up of paranoia and he was tormented by these delusional thoughts. He believed Dana was a supernatural threat.”
Meanwhile, Crown Prosecutor Bina Border said there was unreliability in the evidence presented during the trial.
“(Mr. Lindsay) was not suffering from mental illness to warrant NCR (not criminally responsible),” she said. “He was not in a psychotic state at the time of the offenses. Mr. Lindsay knew his acts were morally wrong.”
Crown Prosecutor Ed Ring added there is, “Abundant evidence to support Mark Lindsay was aware of his actions (at the time of the offense). He expressed no fear of Ms. Turner before he stabbed her and videos leading up to the offense show Mark Lindsay to be acting normal in demeanour.”
Lindsay will return to court on June 6th where it is expected that a date will be set for sentencing.