Alberta man accused in son's death not responsible due to sleep disorder: lawyer

·1 min read

EDMONTON — The lawyer for a man accused of murdering his one-year-old son says his client should be found not criminally responsible because he has a severe sleep disorder.

The man from Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., was charged with second-degree murder in the death of his son, as well as assaulting his five-year-old daughter.

In his closing arguments, lawyer Rory Ziv says his client admitted to killing his son in November 2019, but didn’t remember doing so.

A sleep expert has testified that he assessed the man and believes he had parasomnia when he attacked his children.

Parasomnia is a disorder in which people do things while asleep that they’re unaware of, such as sleepwalking.

The Crown says that evidence suggests the man was intoxicated at the time of the attack, which would affect his ability to form the intent needed for a second-degree murder charge.

The court has heard that the man has a history of substance abuse, including cocaine, alcohol, heroin and prescription opioids.

Crown prosecutor Sandra Christensen-Moore says the judge should consider finding the man guilty of manslaughter.

She says a forensic psychologist also testified that the man had anger management problems and his testimony on when he consumed drugs was inconsistent.

The Canadian Press

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