A Quebec City area man who fatally stabbed a neighbour out on the street last spring has been declared not criminally responsible in the death.
Kim Lebel, who was 30 at the time of the stabbing in April 2022, has suffered from mental illness most of his life, the court was told, in a report written by psychatrist Dr. Sylvain Faucher.
Dr. Faucher said Lebel was going through a psychotic episode and was unable to understand the nature of his actions.
Judge Carl Thibault ruled that Lebel will remain detained at the Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Québec (IUSMQ).
The psychiatric report was requested by defence counsel. The Crown said it would not appeal the ruling.
"Mr. Lebel has suffered from mental illness since he was four years old," said prosecutor Jean-Sébastien Lebel. "He has been hospitalized several times for mental health problems."
The prosecutor said Lebel's next court date is Sept. 5, when the Crown will try to have him declared a high-risk offender.
Lebel's parents were present at court for the ruling but would not comment on it. Their lawyer says they are still planning to sue the Quebec City police service.
In the days leading up to the stabbing, they had called police repeatedly to express their concern about their son's behaviour. They have said the tragedy could have been avoided had police listened to their pleas for help.
Lucie Drouin and Daniel Lebel told reporters last year that after they called police, officers spent 20 minutes with their son before deciding they didn't need to intervene, despite his parents' insistence they were afraid of what he might do.
The family's neighbour, Jacques Côté, 65, was stabbed to death outside his home in the small Quebec City suburb of Lac–Saint-Charles two days later, on the afternoon of April 6.