|Pascal Morin. (QMI Agency Files)
MONTREAL - A 36-year-old Quebec man who butchered his own mother and two young nieces in February won't be going to prison because he was found not criminally responsible.
A judge on Monday agreed with experts who said Pascal Morin, 36, was deranged and confused when he killed Ginette Roy-Morin, 72, Juliette Fillion, 8, and Laurence Fillion, 11.
Psychiatrist Pierre Gagne testified Morin is a schizophrenic who was totally confused at the time. The three victims were killed in the town of Saint-Romain, 230 km east of Montreal.
Morin hadn't seen a doctor for two years and wasn't taking his medication.
"He said he was Jesus and he claimed to be obeying orders from God, who commanded him to eliminate demons to save the planet," the doctor testified.
"He knew he killed his mother and two nieces...But he believed that they would come back to life once freed from their demons."
Several other Canadian killers have been found not criminally responsible in recent years. Such verdicts tend to leave the public unsatisfied, especially when the crimes are particularly horrific.
Vince Li is being held at a mental hospital in Winnipeg after he beheaded carnival worker Tim McLean at random on a Greyhound bus in southern Manitoba in July 2008.
Ex-doctor Guy Turcotte is also under psychiatric care after a jury said he shouldn't go to prison for stabbing his two young children to death north of Montreal in 2009.
The Turcotte verdict provoked outrage across Canada, with some calling on the federal government to reinstate the death penalty.
Heidi Illingworth, executive director of the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime, told QMI Agency that killer mental patients still pose a risk.
"Mental hospitals should keep this sort of offender under close supervision for the rest of their lives," she wrote in an e-mail from Ottawa.
"But, it seems these hospitals are not meant to house the accused for the long term."
Illingworth added that dangerous mental patients rarely stay on their medication once they're released.
The Fillion family is trying to move on, but they're frustrated with the justice system.
The dead girls' grandfather, Jean-Luc Fillion, says the verdict was outrageous.
"People have been punished worse for killing a deer," he said.