Judge rules man accused of 2016 fatal stabbing in Chemainus mentally unfit to continue to stand trial

The scene of the 2016 fatal stabbing in Chemainus

A judge has ruled Colin John is mentally unfit to continue with his second-degree murder trial.

After more than a week, John’s hearing to determine his mental fitness wrapped up in the Duncan courthouse on Aug. 15.

Justice Lisa Warren, who is presiding over the trial, released her judgment on Friday. The reasoning behind the decision includes the fact that John does not participate in the proceedings in any meaningful, is constantly slumped over, the defence has described him as catatonic and several psychiatric experts say he has a serious mental illness.

Now he will undergo psychiatric assessments to determine if he will be held not criminally responsible for the murder and attempted murder due to mental disorder.

John is charged the with murder and attempted murder in connection with an attack at a home in Chemainus in May 2016.

Derek Descoteau, 20, and his girlfriend, Janelle Guyatt, 16, were watching a movie when a man suddenly burst in and began stabbing them. Descoteau died from multiple stab wounds, Guyatt was seriously injured.

John, 25-years-old at the time, was at the scene of the attack when police arrived and was arrested. He has been in custody since.

“I think it’s ridiculous. I think it’s the wrong outcome. I think it’s the wrong outcome. I think he knows what he did and I think he deserves to pay for it,” Guyatt’s best friend Megan Smith said after court proceedings on Friday.

“She was 16 at the time. She was still growing up right? It’s a lot to take on.”

The prosecution completed its case in mid-December after calling 14 witnesses to the stand.

Colin John’s lawyer wanted a doctor to mentally assess his client before beginning his defence.

“We felt that we were finally going to get closure after two and a half years but it doesn’t look like it’s going to be any time soon. It’s going to be a little bit down the road but we are very confident from what we’ve heard inside the court that we will get justice,” Descoteau’s mother told CHEK News in December.


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