Charges against man who stabbed his father to death while on magic mushrooms dropped in Canada

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The charges against Thomas Chan, the man found guilty of manslaughter in the death of his father in 2018, have been dropped by the Crown Counsel in Canada.

Chan, 25, was previously found guilty in December 2018 on charges of second-degree murder and attempted murder following an incident at his father’s Haggis Drive home in Peterborough, Ontario, on December 28, 2015.

Chan had consumed magic mushrooms with his friends hours before entering his father’s house. A video recording of the incident captured a barefoot Chan entering the house with his shirt open, shouting, “I’m not scared anymore.” While experiencing a drug-induced psychotic episode, Chan stabbed his father Andrew Chan and his partner Lynn Witteveen with a butcher knife.

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Andrew, a local doctor, died and Witteveen was seriously injured. She has previously had eight surgeries, including: the removal of her right eye and parts of her intestines and a hernia repair.

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During Chan’s trial, he was allowed to automatic defense as Section 33.1 of the Criminal Code in Canada does not permit individuals charged with a violent assault to: to use disorder as a defense.

However, the Supreme Court ruled this spring that Article 33.1 of the Criminal Code was unconstitutional, giving Chan a new trial.

Crown attorney Paul Murray told Peterborough Superior Court it was not in the public interest to proceed with a new trial. Instead, the prosecutor withdrew the charges Thursday, citing Chan’s time already served, his restrictive bail conditions and the fact that he is doing well.

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“He has completely turned his life around. At 25, he is now on the dean’s honors list at the university,” Murray said.

Chan’s attorney Danielle Robitaille thanked the prosecutors.

“Thomas Chan is not a criminal,” she told the court. “He was a boy who made a mistake the consequences of which he could never have foreseen.”

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However, The Crown noted that they did not admit that Chan was an automaton during his attack. While the Crown agreed that Chan was likely in a psychotic state during the attack, lawyers previously emphasized that he had willingly intoxicated himself.

“The psychiatric evidence presented at his initial trial suggested that his behavior was driven by delusions and that he had conscious control over his actions. He was therefore not a vending machine,” Murray reportedly told Supreme Court Justice Michelle Fuerst.

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Featured image via Crime Beat TV

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