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Fort Nelson man who fatally stabbed landlord found not criminally responsible

VANCOUVER, B.C. — A judge has determined that a schizophrenic man from Fort Nelson who fatally stabbed his landlord two years ago was not criminally responsible for his actions.

The Vancouver Sun is reporting that Joshua Edward Dillon was facing second-degree murder charges in connection with the July 29, 2015 stabbing of 30 year-old Beverly McLeod in her Fort Nelson home. B.C. Supreme Court Justice Catherine Murray rendered the verdict earlier this year, with the written ruling posted on the court’s website Monday.

Justice Murray told the court that though Dillon was not criminally responsible, the verdict is not a ruling of not guilty, nor is it a ticket to freedom. She said in her ruling that there was no doubt that Dillon, who was 22 years old at the time, killed McLeod. But she added that he killed her because he was suffering from a mental disorder that impaired his capacity to see the wrongfulness of his actions. Dillon had been renting McLeod’s basement suite at the time.

Justice Murray noted the findings of two psychiatrists, who found that Dillon was suffering from schizophrenia, and had been actively psychotic in the weeks leading up to, during and after the slaying. According to the findings, Dillon had suffered delusions that caused him to fear for his life, including that McLeod was sending her pet spiders through vents in the house into the basement suite, and were laying eggs under his skin.

“Clearly, Mr. Dillon was in a highly psychotic state,” the judge said. “Ms. McLeod was one of the people he feared but it really did not matter whether it was Ms. McLeod or someone else coming down those stairs. Mr. Dillon was convinced that whoever it was, they were going to kill him. It was, in his mind, kill or be killed.”

The judge has ordered that Dillon be detained in “strict custody” at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam.

Story courtesy The Vancouver Sun: http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/fort-nelson-man-who-stabbed-landlord-to-death-not-criminally-responsible

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