Toronto cop killer schizophrenic: court told
TORONTO - A psychiatrist who examined a man who killed a Toronto police officer with a snow plow has concluded the man is schizophrenic or has an unspecified psychotic disorder.
Richard Kachkar, 44, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Sgt. Ryan Russell.
The judge has told the jury that there is "no doubt" Kachkar was driving the stolen plow on Jan. 12, 2011, when it hit and killed the 35-year-old officer, but what is at issue is Kachkar's mental state.
Kachkar's defence is urging the jury to find him not criminally responsible — a finding that means he had a mental disorder and couldn't appreciate what he was doing.
Renowned forensic psychiatrist Dr. Philip Klassen assessed Kachkar and told court today that in his opinion Kachkar was psychotic when he hit Russell and didn't know what he was doing was wrong.
Klassen says Kachkar has exhibited strange behaviour for a while but appeared to worsen after his father's death in 2004 and had a further breakdown in the months before Russell's death.