Judge orders psychiatric test for man accused of threatening to kill N.L. politicians

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CORNER BROOK, N.L. — A Newfoundland and Labrador judge has ordered a man accused of threatening to "execute" politicians to undergo a psychiatric assessment to determine whether he's fit to stand trial.

George Brake, 66, was arrested in the western Newfoundland town of Deer Lake Tuesday morning after what police say was a high-speed chase. He's facing six charges, including firearms charges and uttering threats to cause death.

During a court hearing Thursday held by teleconference in Corner Brook, N.L., Crown prosecutor Trina Simms requested the assessment. When Judge Wayne Gorman asked for justification, she relayed several details from the police account of Brake's arrest.

She said police got an anonymous call Tuesday morning saying a man was behaving strangely at a gas station in the nearby Bonne Bay area. "Brake claimed to be God, that he had been reading the entire Bible, and he was headed to Deer Lake to stop the election," Simms said.

Newfoundland and Labrador is in the middle of a provincial election campaign with voting set for Feb. 13.

After a short police chase, RCMP officers arrested Brake and found many knives in his vehicle, including a large sheathed hunting knife right beside his seat, Simms said. She said Brake told the arresting officers he wanted to execute local politicians and that he was talking in a "nonsensical manner, mostly about Biblical references."

Shortly after, several officers took Brake to a local hospital, where she said he began talking about Jesus and saying he wanted to execute Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "and his cronies for crimes against humanity."

Police have alleged Brake had 36 knives in his truck when he was arrested and that they believe he intended kill or cause serious bodily harm to local politicians, including Liberal leader and incumbent Premier Andrew Furey.

Brake was arrested near the office of Jim Goudie, the Progressive Conservative candidate running in the district against Furey.

Brake is in custody in western Newfoundland, and will be taken to a mental health hospital in St. John's to undergo an assessment in the coming days, Simms said in an interview after the court hearing. His next court date is set for Feb. 4.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 28, 2021.

The Canadian Press