John hearing in 2016 Descoteau murder extends into the new year

The ongoing hearing to determine whether Colin John has reason to be found not criminally responsible for the May 2016 murder of Derek Descoteau in Chemainus has been a source of frustration for Brenda Smith and her family .

At the insistence of Justice Lisa Warren, the hearing was supposed to wrap up in B.C. Supreme Court in Duncan in two weeks, but was again extended due to witness scheduling issues.

“We were all devastated,” said Descoto’s mother, Smith. “It feels like it’s never going to end.”

Continuation hearing dates are January 9th (full day), January 10th (2pm start), February 6th (full day), February 7th (2pm start) and February 2023 8th (all days).

John pleaded guilty in November 2021 to murdering Descoto and to aggravated assault in the stabbing of Descoto’s girlfriend, Janelle Guyat. Gayatt survived the attack but required multiple surgeries over the years to treat her injuries.

During the pre-sentencing reporting phase, John’s lawyer, Scott Sheets, eventually made an application for non-criminal responsibility on the grounds of mental impairment, which led to the hearing.

Both sides heard expert testimony, and John himself appeared in court for two days, but the hearing is not yet over.

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