Crown Calls First of Five Remaining Witnesses At Kachkar Trial
The first of five remaining witnesses to be called by the Crown in the first degree murder trial of Richard Kachkar took the stand on Day 21, part of evidence called in response to the case presented by the defence.
Kachkar's lawyer has argued his client should be found not criminally responsible in the January 2011 death of Toronto Police Sgt. Ryan Russell.
There is no dispute that Kachkar was driving the stolen snowplow that struck and killed the 35 year-old father of one on January 12th.
Dr. Robert Rehaluk met with Kachkar while he was in custody several times in February of 2011.
Over the course of their 15-20 minutes meetings Rehaluk testified that Kachkar "was always very fluid and his responses were very appropriate with the questions asked."
"Did you ever diagnose him with any major mental disorder?" Asked Crown Attorney Christine McGoey.
"No I did not," responded Rehaluk.
During Rehaluk's first meeting with Kachkar on February 1st, 2011, he testified that the now 46 year-old man was "upset with himself."
"I'm so stupid," Kachkar told Rehaluk. "I'm thinking of the families I have affected."
Rehaluk formed opinions about Kachkar by observing his behaviour during their meetings and asking him questions, like if he was hearing any voices that nobody else was able to hear, or if he thought anyone was trying to hurt or harm him.
During cross-examination Kachkar's lawyer Bob Richardson argued that Rehaluk needed to spend more time with his client in order to paint a more complete picture.
"If someone asked you as a forensic psychiatrist to assess some if in fact they were suffering from a mental disorder over a period of time...you'd want more information," he put to Rehaluk.
"Absolutely," responded the psychiatrist.
Two more psychiatrists are expected to be called by the defence Thursday. All evidence is expected to be presented by Monday.
Three psychiatrists called by the defence believe Kachkar was psychotic at the time of Sgt. Russell's death.