Kitchener man found not criminally responsible for stabbing parents — (The Kitchener Record)

SSRI Ed note: Man on psych drugs for 7 years becomes paranoid, delusional, attacks parents, gets diagnosed with schizophrenia. Mental illness, not meds blamed. Locked up.

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The Kitchener Record

Article was updated Apr. 09, 2020

KITCHENER – A 27-year-old Kitchener man has been found not criminally responsible for trying to murder his parents by stabbing them in the basement of the family home earlier this year.

Matthew Bilodeau attacked his parents the night of Feb. 7 because he believed they were going to kill him on his birthday on Feb. 27, Kitchener’s mental health court heard Tuesday.

He has been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic.

Bilodeau’s father, Jay Bilodeau, was lying on a couch in the basement when his son produced a large butcher knife and stabbed him in the abdomen. The wound was so large that his father’s intestines were protruding.

A family friend tried to get the knife away but Bilodeau went behind a bar, grabbed a small paring knife and then ran at his mother, Marina Bilodeau. He stabbed her in the chest. She received injuries to her hand and shoulder.

The friend got Bilodeau on the floor and held him while Marina Bilodeau ran for help. She called 911 and pounded on the doors of several neighbours’ houses.

Neighbours found her “bleeding and hysterical,” said prosecutor Lynette Fritzley. She told them, “Jay was dying.”

Her husband was lying badly injured on the floor when police got to the home. The family friend was still on top of Matthew Bilodeau.

His parents, who were in court, have recovered. They are supporting their son, who has a history of mental illness.

“His parents desperately want contact,” the prosecutor said. “Their main focus is the well-being of their son.”

Bilodeau was diagnosed with bipolar disorder seven years ago. But a forensic psychiatrist who assessed him after his arrest said the correct diagnosis is paranoid schizophrenia.

The doctor concluded Bilodeau was under a strong delusion that his parents planned to kill him.

“He believed he had to kill them in self-defence to stop them from killing him,” Fritzley said.

He, therefore, didn’t understand that his actions were morally wrong, she said. The doctor said Bilodeau was also under a delusion that his parents were in control of his body.

“His parents were able to make him think, feel and behave according to their wishes,” Fritzley said.

“It’s clear he was floridly psychotic,” said Bilodeau’s lawyer, Steve Gehl.

Police had been called to the family home on Jan. 27 after Bilodeau argued with his parents and got physical with his father, who suffered a hand injury. The couple didn’t want police to take their son, however.

On Feb. 7, Bilodeau called police to say his mother was out of her mind and was trying to end the world. Police came again, but Marina Bilodeau explained her son was mentally ill and they left.

Later that day, the family friend arrived and noticed Bilodeau was acting strangely by running up and down the stairs.

Everyone was downstairs in the basement around 11 p.m. when Bilodeau attacked his parents.

Bilodeau has now been returned to the Waypoint Centre for Mental Health in Penetanguishene. The Ontario Review Board, a panel that reviews the status of everyone found not criminally responsible, must decide within 45 days where he will be placed.

Justice Sharon Nicklas accepted the psychiatrist’s finding that Bilodeau was not criminally responsible for the crime on account of mental disorder.

She noted that Bilodeau’s family has been trying to help him since December, 2003 when he was 18. He’s been admitted to hospital several times and there were many attempts to find the medication that would help him.

Outside court, Jay Bilodeau said he’s recovered from his injuries and should be back to work soon.

“At least Matt’s going to be helped now, hopefully,” he said.