The mental fitness to stand trial of a man accused of attempted murder in the Chilliwack River Valley is now in question.
The Crown case against Peter Kampos began Oct. 9 and wrapped up Oct. 18, with the defence expected to begin with the accused taking the witness stand on Monday.
But lawyer for Kampos, Mark Swartz, told the court that after discussion over the weekend and again in the morning of Oct. 22 with his client, he had mental health concerns.
“I am concerned at this stage with response to Mr. Kampos’s fitness,” Swartz said to Justice Martha Devlin.
Swartz said he’s been told Kampos is waking up “almost forgetting his first name” and Kampos referred to the witness box as “the penalty box.”
“He also indicated his dreams are being stolen and turned into drugs,” Swartz told the court. “He comments that the crime scene is a military base and that there is collusion and tampering of the evidence. Generally speaking, in terms of the proceedings, [he called it] a ‘who framed Roger Rabbit.’”
Kampos’s own father has spoken to The Progress about his son’s serious mental health issues, which include a diagnosis for schizophrenia and several elaborate paranoid delusions.
Given the reports on his statements to his lawyer, Justice Devlin ordered the overnight assessment with Kampos due back in court on Oct. 24 to determine is he is fit to stand trial. If he is deemed fit, the question then remains whether he would still opt to take the stand. If he is deemed unfit, it’s unclear the next steps forward putting the case in a bit of a “holding pattern,” according to a source.
In making the order directly to Kampos, Devlin explained that a medical doctor would be brought in for an assessment at the Surrey Pre-trial Centre. Kampos calmly asked if there was another facility he could be moved to, but Devlin explained that was not something she could order.
The case dates back to March 25, 2017 when a man was shot while sitting in his car on the side of the road in the Chilliwack River Valley. That man, Cameron Rose, was hit in the right shoulder but managed to escape the scene, racing down Chilliwack River Road and stumbling across a military training exercise where he was taken care of by a solider with First Aid training.
Jury selection for the case took place on Oct. 1 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.
The trial so far has spend considerble time addressing witness testimony, physical evidence and video surveillance allegedly showing that Kampos purchased the gun at a Canadian Tire in Terrace on March 23, two days before the shooting.
What has not come up at trial is that there was also an alleged shooting spree over a 14-hour period at commercial vehicles on March 24, 2017 in various communities between Terrace and the Lower Mainland. In those shootings, a blue Dodge Caliber with Ontario licence plates was reported being seen, a vehicle with the same description as the Rose shooting in the Chilliwack River Valley the next day.