Drummondville man accused of killing mother appears in court, won't seek psychiatric evaluation
MONTREAL -- A man charged with the murder of his mother returned to court today and will not seek a psychiatric assessment, his lawyer says.
The death of 57-year-old Suzanne Desjardins in Drummondville attracted attention because she had sought police help in the day before she died, but they said there was nothing they could do.
Quebec’s agency that investigates police actions, the BEI, is looking into the police actions to see if they acted properly.
Desjardins had tried to get psychiatric care for her son, 32-year-old Jean-Luc Ferland, in the weeks before her death.
Two weeks ago, she went to the Surete du Quebec station in Drummondville to ask police to force her son to get a psychiatric assessment, the BEI reported at the time.
She was worried about his violent outbursts. But the officers on duty reportedly told her that because her so hadn’t actually threatened her, there was nothing police could do.
Twenty-four hours later, Desjardins was found dead at her home.
Ferland has a history of mental illness, according to today’s hearing, and he has been diagnosed with autism. But his lawyer chose not to request a psychiatric evaluation.
“It was up to the defence” to make that request, explained the Crown prosecutor.
“They chose not to.”