Chilliwack man ruled unfit to stand trial

A Ryder Lake man may never serve time in jail for stabbing his wife to death.

A Ryder Lake man may never serve time in jail for stabbing his wife to death.

But David Miller, 53, is already serving a life sentence as Huntington’s Dementia ravages his mind and body, and he will likely spend the rest of his life in a forensic hospital, a Supreme Court Justice said Thursday.

Justice Brian Joyce made the remark after finding Miller unfit to stand trial that was scheduled to start on April 23.

Last September, Joyce found Miller was fit to stand trial for the second-degree murder of his 46-year-old wife Susan, but said defense counsel could still bring evidence that his client’s “cognitive capacity” had reached such a low that the fitness ruling could change.

Crown Counsel did not contest a neurological report introduced in court last week that suggested Miller had reached the point where he could no longer communicate with his lawyer, and therefore could not take part in courtroom proceedings in any meaningful way.

Miller was arrested on Boxing Day, 2009 at his Ryder Lake home where he waited for police to arrive after he had killed his wife.

According to a court document, Miller had left a hospital where he was being treated for Huntington’s Dementia earlier that day. When he arrived home, at some point he took a knife from the kitchen and went to his wife’s bedroom where he stabbed her to death.

“He told his daughter what he had done, and told her to call the police,” the document stated. “Mr. Miller then sat on the deck outside the house and waited for the police to arrive.”

Crown counsel Henry Waldock was limited to what he could say outside the courtroom at the end of the trial because Miller’s fitness will be reviewed in two years.

But there is little likelihood the ruling will be reversed because there is no cure for Huntington’s, a degenerative genetic disorder that drastically reduces life expectancy.

“It’s an all-around tragedy for everyone,” Waldock said.

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