Gabriola murder case decision delayed

NANAIMO – Judge expected to rule on criminal responsibility of accused Monday (May 26).

A B.C. Supreme Court case involving the August 2011 murder of a Gabriola Island woman has been adjourned to Monday (May 26) when a decision is expected.

Judge Terence Schultes was set to make a ruling Tuesday if Jason Daniel Cramer was not criminally responsible by way of mental disorder but sought further clarification on whether statements the accused made to psychiatrists were admissible, particularly psychiatrists that gave opinions about Cramer’s state of mind at the time of the incident. Such statements were hearsay, he said.

The Crown said there was evidence to suggest Cramer had a history of drug use and that he consumed drugs around the time of the incident. Cramer told psychiatrists that he believed he acted to protect his children.

Cramer was charged with second-degree murder in relation to the death of Elaine Schwartz and attempted murder of son Trevor, 50 and 18 respectively at the time of the incident.

Cramer appeared in court wearing a grey T-shirt, black sweatpants and white runners.

Jackie Gaudet, Crown counsel, said a statement Cramer made to police was ruled as admissible whereas the statement to the psychiatrists are used only to formulate opinions. They are assumptions and therefore not admissible evidence.

It was a difficult area of the law in that you can’t rely on interviews with psychiatrists to prove facts in the case, she said.

Trevor Schwartz and sister Amy Schwartz were present Tuesday but did not want to comment.

Cramer is currently being held at Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre in Victoria.

Initially, May 26 was selected to set a date for Schultes to render a decision but Gaudet said she was informed yesterday that he would be rendering his decision on that date.