An Edmonton man confessed in B.C. Supreme Court to murdering his ex-girlfriend as well as later assaulting an undercover officer and a cellmate, telling the judge he believed they were going to kill him.
Mark Lindsay, 25, testified from the prisoner's dock on the second day of his trial on aggravated assault, robbery and weapons charges stemming from an incident in Barriere in September 2011.
He faces a separate set of charges in Alberta, including second-degree murder, in the death of Dana Turner.
On Wednesday, defence counsel Don Campbell asked Lindsay to recall circumstances in Edmonton that the accused believes precipitated all of the offences.
"For the last three years, I've been terrorized and threatened by a group of serial killers," he began.
Justice Dev Dley reserved his decision in the case Wednesday pending a Crown application for a psychiatric assessment.
Lindsay, however, maintained throughout his lengthy testimony that he is not crazy, though he understands why people might think so. As on the first day of the trial, the accused was brought into the courtroom cuffed and shackled, and additional sheriffs were posted for security.
He said he had to repeatedly change his place of residence as he continually heard death threats over the phone, in other apartments and "psychically." The threats began after he was accused of raping a woman with whom he had consensual sex.
"Everything was really subtle and I couldn't report it to police," he said.
He said he would move to a new living arrangement only to hear the same threats all over again. He drank to calm his fears and suffered recurring tremors. He met Turner after returning to a psychiatric ward at Alberta Hospital because of his symptoms.
"It became clear to me she wanted to kill me as well," he said.
He served two months in jail for stabbing Turner in the head with a paring knife during a heated argument, he said.
"This sounds crazy, but she was a powerful witch and could communicate with me. She could communicate with me while I was in prison."
He consumed enough coffee to stay him in his cell at night and armed himself with a pencil crayon, thinking the killers would get to him or guards would look the other way.
After his release, he said he began hanging out again with Turner, but she said she was going to klll him, he testified.
"In my panic, I tried to kill her with a pencil in my pocket," he continued. "I killed her. I covered up the body and everything, and used (her) vehicle. . . . The body, I hid somewhere outside of Calgary."
Lindsay told the court that he was in shock, traumatized by what he'd done, but didn't feel badly because he was convinced Turner would kill him otherwise. Still in shock, he travelled to Vancouver simply to get out of Edmonton. Returning home by Greyhound, he heard a voice telling him to stay in Kamloops. Outside the bus depot here, he heard a gunshot and got back on the bus instead, he said.
It was in Hinton, Alta., on that same trip, where an RCMP undercover officer got aboard and befriended Lindsay, at that time a suspect in Turner's recent disappearance. On the promise of work and needing money, Lindsay agreed to join the officer, who can be identified only as SM, to drive two quads to Kamloops.
Lindsay said he felt SM was possibly a hired killer as well, but thought that by continuing their relationship, SM might not follow through. He confirmed in his testimony what SM had surmised while in the stand on Tuesday - that he had SM drive him to the Travel Lodge in Edmonton so that he could surreptitiously check to see if Turner's vehicle was still there.
"I'm not really good at making up lies," he said of his awkwardness with that situation.
Lindsay said he was frightened further as the two met others in Edmonton bars. He said he believed a group of old men sitting around were part of the serial killer conspiracy.
While they were en route to Kamloops he received another cellphone call, he said.
"I got a phone call saying if we got to Kamloops, I'd be hacked up with a chainsaw."
He had a pen in his pocket and used that in an attempt to kill SM, he said: "It just got to the point where I couldn't take it anymore." SM escaped at that point and suffered only a laceration. Lindsay was arrested as he made his way to Kamloops in the truck.
While in custody at KRCC, Lindsay befriended his cellmate, Michel Fougere. His emotions turned when Fougere said he didn't like the fact that Lindsay was Métis. He said he heard Fougere making death threats against him, "so I attacked him with the pen we were using to keep score with Scrabble."
Fougere was stabbed twice below his left eye, had to undergo surgery to remove bits of pencil lodged in his brain, and was left permanently blind in one eye. That assault charge will be dealt with in court next week.
"The only reason I would attack somebody with violence was if my life was threatened, and on all three occasions my life was threatened," Lindsay said.
In cross-examining Lindsay, Crown prosecutor Will Burrows questioned why he wouldn't report the death threats to police or his father, a former Edmonton chief of police. Lindsay said he tried but his concerns were dismissed.
"I know I'm not crazy," he insisted.
Lindsay said he stabbed at the victims' eyes because he figured that would bring a quick death.
Burrows said Lindsay's testimony clearly established the need for a psychiatric assessment.
"My submission is, the evidence from Mr. Lindsay brings that issue to the forefront," Burrows said. "The evidence seems to be that he knew what he was doing but his motive makes him not criminally responsible because of a psychiatric disorder."
Campbell said that, while he would not support the assessment because of his client's insistence he is not mentally ill, he would not oppose it, either.
Lindsay's testimony may be used against him if and when the Alberta charges proceed to court.