News

Judge to decide on criminal responsibility in Gabriola killing

A judge is expected to make a ruling Tuesday (May 20) in B.C. Supreme Court in the case involving an August 2011 murder of a Gabriola woman.

Jason Daniel Cramer was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Elaine Schwartz and attempted murder of her son Trevor Schwartz, 50 and 18 at the time respectively. Cramer has pleaded not guilty to both counts.

Both James Wright, Cramer’s legal counsel, and Ken Pazuik, Crown counsel, said the issue is if Cramer is not criminally responsible by way of mental disorder.

Paziuk said there is evidence to suggest that Cramer has a history of drug use and he consumed drugs in and around the date of the incident.

“One of two things is going to happen,” said Paziuk. “If [Judge Terence Schultes] finds him to be [not criminally responsible], then the ruling would likely be that Mr. Cramer would then go to the review board, so he’d be in the hands of the review board.

“They would decide what sort of treatment program and where they will house him, all those sorts of things. If there isn’t a finding of [not criminally responsible], then there might be further submissions but it would mean then that he’s not excused from criminal responsibility.”

From there it would proceed to a sentencing. If there isn’t a not criminally responsible due to mental disorder finding, there would likely be a chance for counsel to reconsider its positions and come back at a later date to complete sentencing, Paziuk said.

Schwartz’s body was discovered at her Gabriola residence and her son was found severely injured in a separate residence on the property.

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