Veitch, 19, appeared in court Friday morning for the second time this week. Like at his earlier appearance, he walked very slowly and kept his head down, with a vacant facial expression. His appearance and demeanour has changed drastically since he was arrested last December.
His lawyer Mark Gruchy told members of the media Veitch is not very well, but declined to elaborate, since information about the case has yet to be revealed in court. Veitch has been having a very difficult time in prison in a complex way, Gruchy said, and noted that the correctional system struggles to deal with mental health issues.
For example, Veitch often spends time in administrative segregation in HMP.
Once he’s arraigned in Supreme Court next month, it’s expected Veitch will enter pleas of not criminally responsible, though Gruchy would not confirm this.
“As this matter makes its way through the court process, our objective is simply to ensure a fair process for Mr. Veitch, which takes into all relevant factors as required by law,” Gruchy said. “The process is slow, but that’s the nature of our system.”
Veitch is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the bludgeoning death of David Collins, 55, just before Christmas last year. Collins was the partner of Veitch’s mother, and they lived together in Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove. Police and paramedics were called to the home, to find Collins gravely injured. He was taken to hospital and later died of his injuries. Veitch’s mother and brother had also allegedly been assaulted but weren’t injured.
Veitch had allegedly stolen Collins’ car and fled, but police caught up with him about four hours later. He attempted to escape and rammed the vehicle into a police cruiser, then struck another one.
In addition to the murder charge, Veitch is charged with assaulting his mother with a hammer, assaulting a police officer, theft of a motor vehicle and failing to stop for police. A charge of assaulting his brother with a hammer was dropped by the Crown in court Friday.