University student Thamer Hameed Almestadi has been found not criminally responsible for attempting to cut and choke a female classmate’s neck; whom was living in his dormitory.
The incident occurred last year and it was decided Almestadi was “likely suffering from a brief psychotic episode when he attacked a fellow international student, a judge said Thursday. Almestadi told police at the time that he’d believed God commanded him to sacrifice her,” reports CTV News.
Almestadi, a Saudi Arabian national, is going to be detained at a forensic psychiatric hospital.
He was charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon, when the trial began. Almestadi, 18yrs-old during time of attack, was accused of slitting Mary Hare’s throat and trying to choke her at the University of British Columbia in October 2016.
Via CTV News: While the Saudi Arabian student pleaded not guilty to the charges, the court heard Almestadi say he “just tried to kill somebody” in a three-hour police interview played during his trial.
During the interrogation, he told Sgt. Kevin Jeffrey that he thought in the moment that he thought she was the devil. He said he’d been overwhelmed with school work and hadn’t slept the night before.
Almestadi told Jeffrey felt heartbroken during the interview which took place just hours after the crime. He also detailed the attack in the recording, and said he cut Hare’s neck in five seconds.
The victim, a U.S. citizen, testified during the trial also and went into detail about what happened the day of her attack. Hare took the stand almost exactly a year after the incident occurred.
She described Almestadi – who she’d met briefly before her assault – attacking her with a knife. She fought back against her attacker, grabbing the blade of the knife and breaking it off.
A year later she said she still gets nervous when opening the door, and that seeing the accused in court brought back painful memories.
The Crown said two other students ran into the room, found Almestadi with his legs around Hare’s neck and pulled him off her.
Authorities found a box of knives in Almestadi’s dorm room after the attack, the court heard.