Man Charged In 2016 Pembroke Crash After Amber Alert Found Guilty
The man charged in connection with an amber alert that ended in Pembroke almost three years ago has been found guilty of abduction, after a judge found he knew what he was doing was wrong.
Court heard that Mario Rordrigues took his daughger from her mother’s home in Aurora, near Toronto, on April 18, 2016.
The mother had called 911 and told the operator Rodrigues was ``mentally ill,'' court heard.
An Amber Alert was issued.
Meanwhile, Rodrigues drove to Pembroke, where his van rolled over along Paul Martin Drive.
Both he and his daughter suffered multiple fractures.
Rodrigues pleaded not guilty, arguing he was not criminally responsible due to mental illness.
A psychiatrist for the defence said Rodrigues had a bipolar mood disorder and a schizoaffective disorder, and that was in a manic phase.
However, a court ordered assessment found he had an unspecified personality disorder and substance abuse disorders, which did not prevent him from knowing his actions were legally and morally wrong.
Defence attorneys argued their expert conducted ``a far more complete assessment'' because it included information from family members as well as transcripts from the preliminary hearing, the document says.
The Crown said the court should give little weight to the information provided by Rodrigues' relatives because it is hearsay evidence and was not tested by the court.
In a decision released last week, Justice Mark Edwards said that if Rodrigues knew he was breaking the law, it is ``difficult to conceive'' he would not have realized that a reasonable person would also find it morally wrong to abduct your child from the parent with custody.
Edwards also said the expert called by the defence relied on information from Rodrigues' family members in reaching his conclusion, but those relatives did not testify in court and could not be cross-examined on their statements.
It’s not known yet when Rodrigues will be sentenced.
(With files from the Canadian Press)
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