Judge Sentences Lethbridge Man For Trying to Kill His Parents

Nigel Vermeulen has been sentenced to five years in prison for the attempted murders of his parents earlier this year.

A 29 year old man pleading guilty Tuesday (July 10) to attempted murder and assault with a weapon after stabbing his parents in their west Lethbridge home earlier this year.

Police report that Nigel Vermeulen went into his parents' bedroom early in the morning on February 11, and stabbed his 72 year old father in the neck and his 62 year old mother in the leg. Vermeulen's father was treated and released from hospital that same day, while his mother's injuries didn't require any further medical attention.

According to an agreed statement of facts read to the court by Crown Prosecutor Erin Olsen, Vermeulen was diagnosed with selective mutism and obsessive-compulsive disorder at a young age.

Olsen says he wrote on his computer about his plan to kill his parents just moments before going through with it and recorded the stabbing on video. In his writing, Vermeulen claimed to have been mistreated by his parents, which was found to be untrue through a police investigation.

He told police upon his arrest on February 11 that he believed the only way to get out after living with his parents for his entire life would be to kill both of them, also noting that recording their murder would be a type of benchmark in his new life.

A court ordered psychiatric assessment diagnosed Vermeulen with a number of mental health disorders, but ultimately concluded that he was fit to stand trial.

The Crown and his defence lawyer Greg White offered a joint submission of five years in jail for the two charges. With credit for time he's already spent in pre-trial custody, Vermeulen has just less than four-and-a-half years left to serve.

- Sam Borsato

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