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Campbell River dad who killed son mentally ill: lawyer

Dec 04 2012

A Campbell River father who killed his seven-year-old son told police he sat on a star for 2,000 years and thought his son's pure heart could grab a wand and change everything to a perfect world.

Brent Warren, 44, was mentally ill when he killed his son, Jonathan, in July 2011 and should be found not criminally responsible by reason of a mental disorder, defence lawyer Robert Mulligan said Monday at Warren's first-degree murder trial in B.C. Supreme Court.

Mulligan, who pleaded not guilty on Warren's behalf, said his client had committed the acts that led to Jonathan's death. He called the case "unspeakably sad."

Prosecutor Scott Van Alstine told the court Jonathan died after being stabbed 27 times during two attacks in the early morning of July 27.

Warren, a tall man with long brown hair and glasses, wept in the prisoner's box as he listened to sad, troubling evidence that included a videotaped confession.

His wife, Linda, sat with her parents in the public gallery, also overcome with grief.

Warren, who had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2000, had been off his medication for about six weeks leading up to the incident.

A few days before he killed his son, police saw him dancing on his car.

Warren had never been violent before.

On the night of July 26, Warren gave Jonathan a kiss and went to bed. But he had disconcerting thoughts and couldn't sleep. Voices in his head were telling him to kill Jonathan to save the entire human race, Van Alstine said.

In his rambling, distraught videotaped statement, taken hours after Jonathan's death, Warren told Campbell River RCMP Cpl. Gordon Hay that he smoked four or five cigarettes as he struggled against the urges to kill Jonathan. Warren believed that because of Jonathan's youth, he had a pure heart and could save the world.

"I didn't want to kill my son. I don't wanna kill my son, but all I heard was, 'Do it for the whole world. Do it for the whole world. Do it for the whole world. Just do it. Everything will be fine after.' "

Eventually, Warren was persuaded by the voices. He got a knife from the kitchen, looked at his sleeping son, gave him a kiss and said, "Forgive me, son."

Linda was awakened by Jonathan's screams, Van Alstine said. When she saw her husband stabbing the boy, she got between them and tried to help. Jonathan was crying and saying, "Stop it, stop it."

Linda told Warren they had to take Jonathan to hospital, but Warren got another knife and attacked him again. "I didn't want him to suffer," he said.

When Const. Jason Jewkes arrived at their home, he saw blood all through the hallway, kitchen and bedroom, Van Alstine said.

Warren's feet, legs and arms were covered with blood. Jewkes saw Jonathan lying on bed, covered in blood, while Linda performed CPR with the phone to her ear. When Jewkes asked what happened, Warren said: "I did it."

Warren appeared emotionless, Jewkes said.

Jonathan was taken to the hospital but pronounced dead in the ambulance. Both Linda and Warren were treated for lacerations to their hands.

For the past few months, Warren has been treated at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital near Port Coquitlam, Mulligan said.

"He's doing as well as one might in these circumstances," Mulligan said. "But you've heard how difficult life has been for him, so none of that has been magically removed."

ldickson@timescolonist.com

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