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Hypodermic needle assailant given 60 days to assess fitness for trial

If declared unfit, the ruling could determine the defendant is not criminally responsible for his actions.
Prov court 1
Bluecloud attended Provincial Court on the afternoon of April 15 and has been ordered to attend 60 days of psych evaluation in North Battleford to assess his fitness to stand trial.

MOOSEJAWTODAY.COM — Brandon Lee Bluecloud, 29, sat reflectively behind glass on the afternoon of April 15 as he awaited Judge Brian Hendrickson’s ruling to determine whether he’s fit to stand trial following his earlier Oct. 3, 2023, hypodermic needle assault in downtown Moose Jaw.

The court’s ruling was that Bluecloud be made to attend a 60-day treatment order to take place at the Saskatchewan Hospital in North Battleford before a further decision is made. This decision aligns with section 672.58 in the Criminal Code.

Hendrickson’s decision followed a joint submission by both the Crown and defence asking for psychiatric evaluation, with the Crown stating the need for an abbreviated fitness hearing.

The ruling was made without dispositions, as per section 672.62 of the Criminal Code.

Previously, Bluecloud had been ordered to attend the Saskatchewan Hospital for assessment on Oct. 11, 2023, but his doctor, Dr. Stephen Adams, said there has been a change in circumstances relevant to his diagnosis. The stated hope is for Bluecloud to be rendered fit to stand trial.

There “has to be a recognizable expectation of treatment within a given timeframe,” according to the defence, and Dr. Adams was said to be confident this is the case approximately one week before the latest April 15 court date.

If Bluecloud is declared unfit, the ruling could determine that he is not criminally responsible for his actions. If this is the case, Bluecloud would be detained at a mental health institution for ongoing treatment.

Bluecloud’s defence, Deanna Harris, said he’s willing to receive treatment and he appears to remain cooperative throughout the process.

Back on Oct. 3, 2023, Bluecloud was arrested and charged with assault with a weapon after an attack in downtown Moose Jaw at the TD Bank.

When officers of the Moose Jaw Police Service arrived on scene, they learned that Bluecloud had approached a bank customer from behind, stabbed that individual multiple times in the lower back region with a syringe, and then fled the scene.

Bluecloud was arrested without incident a short time after the attack with the help of security camera footage. Bluecloud and his victim were unknown to one another, and police are saying the attack appeared to be random.

His first court appearance was Oct. 4, 2023, at the Moose Jaw Provincial Court.

Bluecloud will appear at his next court hearing by a video conference call from North Battleford. His defence said the reason for the remote call was to “preserve his state” following therapy which could be uprooted if he were to make the lengthy and potentially stressful trip to Moose Jaw.

Bluecloud is scheduled to appear for his next court date on Wednesday, June 12, at the Moose Jaw Provincial Court.