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Man has serious mental illness

An attack by a mentally ill man wielding a chainsaw "was right out of the movies," a Crown lawyer said Monday in provincial court.

Wyatt Proulx, 25, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and possession of a weapon for a dangerous use. An original charge of attempted murder was dropped by the Crown in exchange for the guilty plea.

At one point, said prosecutor Frank Caputo, one of the victims held a chair up to protect himself. The chair was sawed through by Proulx, who gave chase when victims ran away.

While Proulx has serious mental illness, a psychiatrist found he does not meet the standard required to be found not criminally responsible by reason of a mental disorder.

The attack happened August 31, when Proulx attended a home in Barriere where his uncle was playing cards with two other people. After some arguing, they told Proulx, who was drinking, they were going to bed, locking the door behind them.

"The next thing they heard was the chainsaw," Caputo said.

Proulx revved the chainsaw, cutting the chair held by the victim and a mattress. He also gave chase. The only injury was a nick on the wrist of one of the three people in the home.

When he was arrested and informed of his rights, Proulx gave a incoherent statement, saying "I am a lawyer, unless I'm surrounded by prison dogs. They suck out my psycho."

On Monday, he told provincial court Judge Len Marchand "I'm against violence."

Defence lawyer Murray Armstrong argued Proulx's mental illness should lessen the penalty.

The Crown and defence made a joint sentence asking for two years new jail time, followed by three years probation. Marchand is expected to give his decision today.

Proulx was committed under the Mental Health Act to a forensic psychiatric facility in Abbotsford soon after being arrested at the end of August.

? Copyright 2018 Kamloops Daily News