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B.C. man who says he killed to save souls is found not criminally responsible


Published on August 11, 2017

NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. — A man who confessed to killing the house manager at an addiction treatment centre in Nanaimo, B.C., has been found not criminally responsible for the death because of a mental disorder.

Steven Rogers was charged with second-degree murder shortly after 38-year-old Jason Collett was killed with a hammer and knife on Sept. 16, 2014.

Three psychiatrists gave evidence at his B.C. Supreme Court trial in New Westminster in February that Rogers was in a state of psychosis when he killed Collett because of underlying mental disorder.

The trial heard that Rogers told police days after the murder that he believed he was guided by something and in order to save Collett's soul and the souls of everyone else, he had until 2:26 a.m. that morning to kill the man.

A Crown attorney told the trial Rogers didn't like Collett, and several residents at the Last Door treatment centre where Rogers was being treated for addiction gave evidence of heated discussions between the two men.

But Justice Elliot Myers ruled in a decision published Friday that Rogers was not criminally responsible because he was in a state of psychosis as a result of schizophrenia.

"I have accepted, Mr. Rogers recitations of his state of mind — in spite of the inconsistencies — reflected his 'reality' and that he was not capable of knowing that what he did was morally wrong," Myers wrote in his decision.

 

The Canadian Press