Quebec sword attack suspect didn't show many psychosis, schizophrenia symptoms: expert

An expert called by prosecutors during Carl Girouard's trial Thursday said the accused did not present several symptoms linked to psychosis and schizophrenia.

"The idea of killing doesn't come out of a blue sky," said psychiatrist Dr. Sylvain Faucher, who met Girouard twice in March.

Foucher’s testimony contradicts that of defence witness Dr. Gilles Chamberland, who previously said that the accused suffered from schizophrenia and was in full psychotic delirium at the time of the attack.

Girouard is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder. He admitted to the crimes, but his defence is hoping to prove him not criminally responsible due to his mental state.

Faucher based his analysis on various psychiatric assessments, notes and testimonies given during the trial.

In the years leading up to his Oct. 31, 2020, attack in Old Quebec, which left two dead and five injured, Girouard was "performing at work" and was able to live alone in an apartment, said Faucher.

As for Girouard’s personal relationships, Foucher said he was able to nurture relations with family members.

He also said Girouard did not suffer from delusions or hallucinations. According to Foucher, his "mission" to kill people was particularly inspired by the video games he consumed.

He said he couldn’t confirm whether the accused has an autism spectrum disorder, but that he wasn't ruling it out.

He says Girouard's psychiatric evaluations, which were carried out at different times, are "incomplete."

This article was produced with financial support from Meta and The Canadian Press news scholarships. It was first published by The Canadian Press on May 5, 2022.

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