A man accused of attempted murder after a 2017 shooting in the Chilliwack River Valley who was deemed unfit for trial, has now been deemed fit for trial leaving a number of questions about what’s ahead.
Peter Anthony Kampos’s father said his son thinks the Earth is being attacked by aliens, that he can recognize those aliens in human form, and it’s his duty to eliminate them.
He has been said to believe there is a conspiracy against him in the courtroom.
|Peter Anthony Kampos|
His history of mental health issues is clear. His father’s concerns have been put forth in letters to Crown counsel and The Progress, and a psychiatrist found him unfit, a conclusion confirmed at a fitness hearing in BC Supreme Court in New Westminster in December.
Justice Martha Devlin declared Kampos unfit to stand trial, but after a hearing in January, a review board determined he is fit for trial. But that means the case again comes before the court for another fitness hearing, likely in later March or April.
The somewhat unique case has an uncertain future now as psychiatrists have disagreed about the man’s mental fitness. While forensic psychiatrist Dr. Robert Lacroix deemed Kampos to have a number of psychotic illnesses, that doctor did conclude he is mentally fit for trial.
The legal standard for mental fitness for trial and not criminally responsible after conviction are different.
The normal process regarding mental fitness is that the issue is brought up by defence. In this case, defence did not bring it up until well into the proceedings.
The charges Kampos faces relate to a shooting incident in the Chilliwack River Valley on March 25, 2017. That day Cameron Rose was shot in the right shoulder while sitting in his car on the side of Chilliwack Lake Road. He escaped the scene, racing down the and stumbling across a military training exercise where he was taken care of by soldiers.
Jury selection for the case took place on Oct. 1, 2018 for the trial, but at the last minute Kampos re-elected for judge alone.
He is charged with three counts: attempt murder with a firearm; discharging a firearm with intent to wound/disfigure; and intentionally discharging a firearm into or at a place, knowing that or being reckless as to whether another person is present in the place.
Questions regarding his fitness for trial have lingered from the outset, but it wasn’t until Oct. 22 that defence lawyer Mark Swartz agreed with Crown, both disagreeing with Lacroix, that Kampos is unfit for trial.
Justice Devlin agreed in December and Kampos was detained at a psychiatric facility. The regularly scheduled review of his fitness recently found he is now fit for trial. Now, it’s up to a Crown psychologist to testify at a fitness hearing in B.C. Supreme Court in the coming days.
If he is deemed unfit, he will be returned to the psychiatric facility. If he is deemed fit, it’s unclear if the trial can continue where it left off or if Crown will have to re-present its case from the beginning.
A date for the fitness hearing will be scheduled this month or into April depending on the availability of the Crown psychologist.