Penticton stabber deemed not criminally responsible

Judge sends man accused of attempted murder in connection with incident at local motel to psychiatric hospital instead of jail

Scales of justice

Scales of justice

A man charged with attempted murder and five other offences following a stabbing earlier this year at a Penticton motel has been found not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder.

Following that finding in court in Penticton on July 31, Ralph Scott James Lefteruk was remanded to the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam, according to Neil MacKenzie, spokesman for the B.C. Criminal Justice Branch.

MacKenzie said via email the judge would have considered the circumstances of the offences, plus evidence regarding the accused’s mental state at the time, before making the ruling.

Lefteruk was ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation following an appearance in provincial court in Penticton on Feb. 6, two days after the early morning incident at the Mayfair Motel.

RCMP alleged at the time that Lefteruk broke into a unit there and choked a 53-year-old woman, then stabbed a 40-year-old man who tried to intervene.

Lefteruk was also charged with two counts of break and enter, plus single counts of aggravated assault, assault, and resisting arrest.

MacKenzie said it will be up to the B.C. Review Board to determine when, and if, Lefteruk is fit to rejoin society.

The board manages the treatment and release of offenders who have been charged with offences but found not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder.

Court records show that at the time of his arrest, Lefteruk was subject to a 12-month peace bond issued in November 2013.

That order was sought by an unidentified person who feared Lefteruk would do him or her harm.