A Campbell River father has been found not criminally responsible for the murder of his seven-year-old son Jonathan in 2011.
In B.C. Supreme Court in Victoria Tuesday, Associate Chief Justice Austin Cullen found Brent Warren, 44, suffered from a mental disorder when he stabbed Jonathan in July 2011.
The justice said the case was “profoundly disturbing and tragic.” He said Warren intended to kill his son, but in his mind it was not morally wrong because he was doing it to save the world.
The verdict means Warren will be confined at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Port Coquitlam indefinitely. His case will be subject to an annual review. Both prosecutor Scott Van Alstine and defence lawyer Robert Mulligan had asked the court to find Warren not guilty by reason of a mental disorder.
Outside court, Ben Bedarf, Jonathan’s grandfather, stood with his daughter Linda Warren who was injured when she tried to save her son. “There are no winners in this case,” he said. “There’s no closure for us either because, on a yearly basis, we’re going to have to go before the board to keep him locked up.”
The court was told that Jonathan died after being stabbed 27 times during two attacks. Warren had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2000 and had been off his medication for about six weeks leading up to the incident.
In his videotaped statement hours after Jonathan’s death, Warren told the Campbell River RCMP that he struggled against the urges to kill Jonathan. Eventually, he got a knife from the kitchen, looked at his sleeping son, gave him a kiss and said, “Forgive me, son.” His wife was awakened by Jonathan’s screams. When she saw her husband stabbing the boy, she got between them and tried to help. When police arrived they saw blood all through the hallway, kitchen and bedroom. Jonathan was taken to the hospital but was pronounced dead in the ambulance.