A man charged with the second-degree murder of his 49-year-old mother in a Vernon apartment was found not criminally responsible on account of a mental disorder.
Angelo Gabriel Monfort, appearing in Vernon Law Courts via video Monday morning, sat leaning forward in his chair as Justice Frank Cole made the decision.
“There is an agreed statement of facts that’s been found and marked in these proceedings. Consequently, as a result of that evidence, I am satisfied that the accused committed the offence as charged,” Justice Cole said. “In respect to the second issue, that is whether the accused is not criminally responsible on account of a mental disorder, there was a psychiatric assessment that was ordered by this court… I am satisfied, therefore, that he is not criminally responsible on account of that mental disorder.”
Monfort’s matter will be put before the British Columbia Review Board, which will then decide how his matter will proceed.
Defence Glenn Verdurmen said they can then opt for an absolute discharge, meaning Monfort is free to go; a conditional discharge or detention.
According to the psychiatric assessment, Monfort meets the criteria for finding that 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.
Officers responded to a report of an assault in a unit in the 7300 block of Okanagan Landing Road shortly after 11 p.m. June 20, 2017. Upon attending the scene, police located the injured woman, Monfort’s mother, and took her to Vernon Jubilee Hospital where she later died of her injuries.
Monfort, then 21-years-old, was arrested at the residence in connection with the homicide.
Verdurmen said that, when he met Monfort shortly after the incident, it was apparent that he was acting out of sorts.
“All of these things were extremely bizarre,” Verdurmen said. “He was in an altered state.”
Monfort and his family moved to Vernon from the Philippines prior to the incident. Monfort had been in school and held work. Verdurmen said he believes that the entire family, other than Monfort, is now back in the Philippines.
“I’m hearing from family everybody is back there,” Verdurmen said. “He has no one to connect within Canada.”
Given his immigration status, Verdurmen said it is unclear whether or not Monfort will remain in Canada.
“He has an extremely supportive family. They have been extremely interested, extremely supportive of him despite everything,” Verdurmen said of his discourse with the family.
From Verdurmen’s first meeting with Monfort to him appearing in court via video, Verdurmen said there appears to be an improvement.
“His demeanour has very much changed and he hopefully can then make a full recovery,” Verdurmen said of Monfort.
“At the end of the day, it’s very tragic. They came here with real excitement about the opportunity for change,” Verdurmen said. “They have to pick up and find a way to put the family together. They haven’t abandoned him — that’s the most obvious part.”