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Vitamin therapy contributed to North Vancouver murder: judge
A North Vancouver man who bludgeoned his father to death with a wrench and nearly killed his mother after taking multivitamins in place of his prescribed anti-psychotic medication has been found not criminally responsible for the attack due to his mental state.
A B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled on July 6 that Jordan Ramsay did not know his actions were morally wrong when the 27-year-old schizophrenic brutally attacked his sleeping 53-year-old parents Donald and Wendy Ramsay in the family’s West 28th Street apartment last November.
In her ruling, Judge Deborah Kloegman blamed the Ramsay family’s decision to replace Jordan’s psychiatric drugs with what purport to be mentally therapeutic multivitamins, for contributing to the fatal attack.
“The accused was not taking his sorely needed medication at the time of the offenses, or at least not in the recommended dosage,” Kloegman ruled, referring to testimony from Ramsay’s psychiatrist, Dr. LeeAnne Meldrum. “His parents had unilaterally decided to reduce the dosage a couple of weeks before the night in question and then replaced the medication with power vitamins.”
Now the deceased’s sister — Jordan’s aunt — says she wants the claims of the Canadian manufacturer of the multivitamins investigated, telling The Outlook she believes her brother would still be alive today if not for trusting in the alleged mental health benefits of the supplement program.
“I know he would want this exposed,” LeeAnn Ramsay said in a June 18 letter to The Outlook.
In finding Ramsay not criminally responsible for the charges of second-degree murder and attempted murder, the judge cited not only the psychiatrist’s report which was gleaned from 40 interviews with Ramsay, but also reports from Lions Gate Hospital staff on the morning of Nov. 5, 2011.
Taken shortly after Ramsay’s arrest for the attack, those reports show Ramsay telling staff he had been taken over by demons and was not sure if what had just happened was real or a dream.
When asked if he understood that he was under arrest for murder, Ramsay replied: “No, I just got out of bed to get a drink of water and woke up like this,” the judge read.
“When asked if he understood he could call any lawyer or would be provided with legal aid,” the judge continued, “the accused responded, ‘I’ve been living with a heart palpitation.’
“When asked, ‘Do you wish to call a lawyer?’ the accused responded, ‘I’m just a kid.’”
Ramsay was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 18 and was on an extended leave from the psychiatric ward at Nanaimo General Hospital when he attacked his parents.
The night before the attack, an apparently delusional Ramsay asked his mother who the person sitting beside the fireplace was, the court heard.
“There was no one sitting in the chair,” the judge read, as Ramsay looked on silently from the prisoner’s box.
Later that evening, a deeply aggravated Ramsay came out of the bathroom and asked his mother who she was.
“Jordan, I’m your mother. Go to bed,” came the response.
At approximately 1:38 the following morning, a neighbour called the North Vancouver RCMP to report violent banging and a woman screaming from the Ramsay apartment.
“The woman heard, ‘Jordan, stop! Stop!,’” the judge read.
Three North Vancouver Mounties attended the scene and heard a woman crying on the other side of the Ramsays’ door.
Finding the door unlocked, the officers let themselves into the apartment where they heard running water in the bathroom and saw the shadow of a person move into the bathroom.
Police shouted at the person to come out before moving towards the bathroom door where they found Ramsay standing alone and holding a long torque wrench covered in blood.
When police told Ramsay to drop the wrench, he just stared back.
A struggle for the wrench ensued, in which Ramsay was shocked in the arm with a Taser and pepper sprayed in the face, to no apparent effect.
The three officers eventually tackled and handcuffed Ramsay before he was examined by BC Ambulance attendants and taken to Lions Gate Hospital.
Wendy Ramsay was found laying unconscious on the bedroom floor with her head in her hands, covered in blood. Paramedics and firefighters treated her at the scene and she was taken to Lions Gate Hospital for severe head injuries.
Donald Ramsay was found dead, slumped over the side of the bed with his head on the floor in a pool of blood.
The B.C. Review Board now has 45 days to decide whether Ramsay will be remanded in custody at a psychiatric facility or released.
And while his lawyer, Dan Sudeyko, told the court Friday that he will not ask the review board for release, he will ask that a North Vancouver provincial court condition barring Ramsay from having any contact with his mother be lifted.
“I’m told by the victim’s services person that his mother, who has not had any contact with him, would like to resume contact,” Sudeyko said.