June 14th, 2024

Lawyer may try to get release for man charged with attempted murder


By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on February 11, 2023.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A psychiatric assessment has been completed for a 59-year-old Lethbridge man accused of trying to kill a woman during a domestic dispute in September.

After waiting several months for the assessment to be completed at the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre in Calgary, Lethbridge lawyer Marcus Mueller said Friday in provincial court a letter received from the centre indicates the assessment has been completed and he may take steps to get his client, Kien Thanh Lam, released from custody

“I’m going to canvass a few potential sureties for Mr. Lam; we may have to set up a bail hearing for him,” Mueller told court.”

He pointed out that while he continues to review disclosure with his client, he will also consider a “rough” proposal he received from the Crown on Tuesday to resolve the case.

Lam was ordered late last year to have a forensic assessment under Section 672 of the Criminal Code, which 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 a December hearing, court was told another extension is necessary because the assessment was taking longer than expected and an adjournment was needed to complete it organize all the medical analysis and tests, prepare a report and arrange for a Cantonese interpreter.

The results of the assessment were not discussed during Friday’s court hearing.

Lam, who has been in custody at the Calgary Remand Centre during the assessment, 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.

The matter is scheduled to return to court in March.

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