The second-degree murder trial for Nicholas Climb Johnson continued in Red Deer provincial court on Thursday. (File photo by Advocate staff)

The second-degree murder trial for Nicholas Climb Johnson continued in Red Deer provincial court on Thursday. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Accused murderer’s delusion of Satan dismissed by Crown

Defence argues Stettler man not criminally responsible because of a mental disorder

Warning: This story contains graphic details

Whether or not a Stettler man killed his father because he believed Satan was inside his father was debated in a Red Deer courtroom on Thursday.

It was one of the issues discussed by defence and Crown who presented their closing arguments during the second-degree murder trial for Nicholas Climb Johnson who was accused of stabbing to death his father Barry Douglas Johnson, 67, in his Stettler home in January 2020.

The defence has conceded that Johnson killed his father but is arguing that he should not be held criminally responsible because of a mental disorder.

Crown prosecutor Bina Border said even the defence’s forensic psychiatrist Dr. David Tano said that the idea that Satan was in his father “came and went.”

“The evidence of delusion was unclear and unreliable,” Border said.

“The references to Satan are fleeting.”

In an agreed statement of facts, the court previously heard that Johnson attacked his father in the early morning of Jan. 15. He stabbed his father 27 times and hit him with a clothes iron and a large rock.

His mother discovered what he had done when she returned home in the early afternoon. Her husband’s body lay under a sheet in the basement.

Border said the accused initially said it was his father who came after him with a knife, then later talked about how he had enough of how his father was treating him.

Defence lawyer Patty McNaughton said Tano diagnosed Johnson with schizophrenia and concluded that Johnson did not have the capacity to make rational decisions.

She noted the Crown did not produce any rebuttal experts.

“I do not think (Tano’s) evidence was contradicted,” McNaughton said.

“Mr. Johnson had a mental disorder likely present at the time of the offence,” she said.


Mentally ill central Alberta man who killed father not criminally responsible: psychiatrist

Stettler man not criminally responsible for killing his father: defence lawyer

Border argued a large amount of medical records and observations used by Tano for his report and testimony were not put into evidence for the court which needs to be able to interpret the evidence for itself.

“The court must be able to review that which the expert relied on.”

News tips

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Just Posted

Stettler County
County of Stettler approves projects during May 12th council meeting

County council has authorized some funds for projects this summer

Stettler County
County of Stettler holds public hearings for proposed bylaws

A bylaw to amend the Land Use Bylaw for recreational vehicle uses generated many responses from the public

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta adds 1,195 new COVID-19 cases Saturday

Red Deer has dropped to 760 active cases

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw is asking Albertans to do their part by observing gathering limits, staying home if unwell, wearing masks and maintaining physical distance. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Three new Central zone COVID-19 deaths, Alberta adds 1,433 cases

Red Deer down to 802 active cases of COVID-19

Marc Kielburger, screen left, and Craig Kielburger, screen right, appear as witnesses via video conference during a House of Commons finance committee in the Wellington Building in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. The committee is looking into Government Spending, WE Charity and the Canada Student Service Grant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau didn’t violate conflict rules over WE Charity, watchdog says

Federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion found that former finance minister Bill Morneau did violate the rules

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Welcoming cowboy boots at the historic and colourful Last Chance Saloon in the ghost town of Wayne near Drumheller, Alta., on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. The bar and hotel are up for sale. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘It was a going concern’: Remaining bar and hotel in Alberta coal ghost town for sale

The historic Last Chance Saloon in the ghost town of Wayne in southern Alberta is up for sale

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Restrictions will lift once 75% of Canadians get 1 shot and 20% are fully immunized, feds say

Federal health officials are laying out their vision of what life could look like after most Canadians are vaccinated against COVID-19

Chris Scott, owner of The Whistle Stop Cafe, was put in handcuffs after an anti-restriction protest Saturday in the parking lot of the business. (Screenshot via The Whistle Stop Facebook page)
Alberta RCMP investigating possible threat to police after Mirror rally

Online images show RCMP members, vehicles in crosshairs of a rifle

An Israeli attack helicopter launches flares as he flies over the Israeli Gaza border, southern Israel, Thursday, May 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Singh calls for halt on Canadian arms sales to Israel as violence escalates in region

Government data shows Canada sent $13.7 million in military goods and technology to Israel in 2019

New homes are built in a housing construction development in the west-end of Ottawa on Thursday, May 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Budget’s foreign-homebuyers tax could bring in $509 million over 4 years, PBO says

Liberals are proposing a one per cent tax on vacant homes owned by foreign non-residents

A Canadian flag patch is shown on a soldier’s shoulder in Trenton, Ont., on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. The Canadian Forces says it has charged one of its members in the death of an army reservist from British Columbia during a training exercise at a military base in Alberta last year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg
Canadian Forces member charged in death of army reservist during training exercise

Cpl. Lars Callsen has been charged with one count of negligence

Most Read