June 25th, 2024

Extension ordered for psychiatric assessment in attempted murder case

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on December 15, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A 59-year-old Lethbridge man accused of trying to kill a woman during a domestic dispute in September will remain in custody for at least two more months while he completes an assessment at the Southern Alberta Psychiatric Centre in Calgary.

The matter for Kien Thanh Lam was in Lethbridge provincial court Wednesday, where the judge was told more time is needed to complete the assessment and prepare a subsequent report.

Section 672 of the Criminal Code allows the court to order an assessment of the mental condition of an accused, if there are reasonable grounds to believe it’s necessary to determine whether the accused is unfit to stand trial, and whether the accused was, at the time of the commission of the alleged offence, suffering from a mental disorder so as to be exempt from criminal responsibility.

The 30-day assessment was ordered in October, but a month later the assessment was not completed and a 30-day extension was granted. During Wednesday’s hearing court was told another extension is necessary because the assessment is taking longer than expected and an adjournment is needed to complete the assessment, organize all the medical analysis and tests, prepare a report and arrange for a Cantonese interpreter.

Lam, who has not yet had a bail hearing and attended court Wednesday by CCTV from the Calgary Remand Centre, is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, assault by choking, uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm, and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

Lethbridge Police responded to a domestic assault at about 12:30 a.m. Sept. 23 at a home in the Fairmont subdivision. They found a 59-year old man and 59-year-old woman suffering from stab wounds, and they were transported to hospital by EMS. Although the man was later discharged, the woman remained in hospital in stable condition.

Police determined the man assaulted the woman and caused his own injuries.

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