June 16th, 2024

Lawyers argue judge should find admitted serial killer not criminally responsible

By The Canadian Press on June 10, 2024.

Lawyer Leonard Tailleur, centre, lawyer for accused serial killer Jeremy Skibicki, enters the Manitoba Law Courts for the trial of Skibicki in Winnipeg on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

WINNIPEG – Closing submissions are underway in the trial of a Winnipeg man who has admitted to killing four women.

Lawyers for Jeremy Skibicki are arguing he was suffering from schizophrenia at the time of the women’s slayings in 2022.

Court has heard Skibicki told a psychiatrist he felt compelled to kill the women because he was on a mission from God.

Skibicki has admitted to the killings but has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

His lawyers are asking Chief Justice Glenn Joyal to find Skibicki not criminally responsible due to mental illness.

Crown prosecutors, who are expected to provide their arguments later today, say the killings were racially motivated and Skibicki preyed on the Indigenous women at homeless shelters.

The month-long trial has heard graphic details of how Skibicki assaulted the women, strangled or drowned them and disposed of their bodies in garbage bins in his neighbourhood.

A forensic psychiatrist testified for the defence that Skibicki was suffering from schizophrenia while a court-appointed expert said Skibicki didn’t have a major mental health disorder.

Crown witness Dr. Gary Chaimowitz says he believes Skibicki was driven to kill the women because of his perverse sexual interests and knew what he was doing was wrong.

Skibicki, 37, is charged in the deaths of Rebecca Contois, 24; Morgan Harris, 39; Marcedes Myran, 26; and an unidentified woman an Indigenous grassroots community has named Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe, or Buffalo Woman.

The killings came to light after the partial remains of Contois were found in a garbage bin in Skibicki’s neighbourhood in May 2022. More of her remains were discovered at a city-run landfill the following month.

The remains of Harris and Myran are believed to be at a different landfill. It is not known where Buffalo Woman’s remains are located.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 10, 2024.

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