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Author of the article: Paul Cherry, Montreal Gazette
Publishing date: Jun 16, 2020 Last Updated 1 month ago
Meng Ye appeared before Superior Court Justice Marc-André Blanchard through a video conference that connected the Philippe Pinel Institute to the courtroom. / MONwp
A 36-year-old woman with a long history of mental health problems has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of her mother.
Meng Ye was at the Philippe Pinel Institute when she appeared before Superior Court Justice Marc-André Blanchard through a video conference that connected the hospital to the Montreal courthouse on Tuesday.
Ye sounded tired and nervous as she said she agreed with a five-page series of facts read into the court record by prosecutor Camille Boucher before she admitted she killed Yun Yu, her 61-year-old mother. Yu was stabbed in the back inside her home in LaSalle on Jan. 28, 2018, where she had custody of Ye’s one-year-old daughter because of Ye’s mental health problems.
According to the joint statement of facts, in the weeks before the tragedy Ye was under the delusion that “an organization was going to kill her mother and her daughter in front of her and then render her blind and deaf,” Boucher said. “With the objective of protecting herself and her family, she bought a Taser gun and smoke grenades and started carrying a knife.”
On Jan. 3, 2018, Yu texted her ex-husband and wrote that their daughter had threatened to kill her with a knife. According to evidence presented during her preliminary inquiry, Ye began seeing a new psychiatrist in August 2017; she saw him several times in the weeks leading up to the stabbing because Yu and a social worker expressed concerns about Ye’s behaviour. The psychiatrist tried to help Ye, but noted she had a history of lying when asked if she was taking her prescribed medication. She also hid her delusional thoughts from him.
On Jan. 20, 2018, the Montreal police arrived at Yu’s home on Guy-Bouchard Blvd. after neighbours called 911 to report the sounds of a loud argument. Yu told the officers that she had been pushed and threatened by her daughter. But a neighbour who testified at the preliminary inquiry said that when she asked Yu what had happened, Yu opened her coat, revealing red marks on her neck.
“My daughter wants to choke me,” the neighbour quoted Yu as saying.
Yu asked the officers to evict her daughter. Ye was taken to a shelter by police, but was returned to her mother’s home hours later.
“On the night of the (homicide), Miss Ye became convinced the attack (by the non-existent organization) was going to take place that night. She walked to a gas station where she purchased gasoline and poured it into two containers that she had brought with her,” Boucher said. “She then returned to Miss Yu’s residence.
“She thought that setting the home on fire would give her the opportunity to escape with her family should they be attacked by the organization.”
Ye soon realized that the smell of gasoline was very noticeable inside her mother’s home and researched how to camouflage it. She also sent messages to people she knew on Facebook saying she was very upset with her mother.
“A few hours later, Miss Yu discovered the gasoline in a cupboard and a fight ensued during which the accused stabbed her mother once in the back,” Boucher said.
Yu fled from her home in her bare feet and a neighbour called 911. Ye also called 911 and admitted she stabbed her mother. She said: “My mother got on my nerves,” then asked for an ambulance.
“The evidence gathered by the investigation as well as the accused’s mental health and the symptoms exhibited around the time of the event support that, although suffering from a mental disorder, her condition did not render her incapable of appreciating the nature and the quality of the act of stabbing her mother, or that stabbing her mother was wrong,” Boucher said. “Those same elements support the conclusion that when Meng Ye stabbed her mother, she did it without the intent to kill her, making her therefore guilty of manslaughter.”
Ye’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for next month.