'As abstract as killing people in a video game,' doctor says of Alek Minassian's mind

Alek Minassian court sketch

A psychiatrist says the man who killed 10 people in Toronto's van attack two years ago feels no emotion over what he did.

Dr. Alexander Westphal is telling a court that Alek Minassian describes the attack in a way similar to someone talking about killing characters in a video game.

He says the concept of death is abstract to Minassian and says the 28-year-old talked about the lives lost as ``converting life status to death status.''

Westphal is testifying on behalf of the defence and is expected to say Minassian is not criminally responsible for his actions on April 23, 2018 due to autism spectrum disorder.

Minassian has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 of attempted murder.

He has admitted to planning and carrying out the attack,  and his state of mind is the sole issue at the judge-alone trial.