There will be no absolute discharge from a Lower Mainland psychiatric facility for a Vernon man found not criminally responsible for the death of his friend in 2010.
The B.C. Court of Appeal dismissed Kenneth Scott Barter’s application, agreeing with the B.C. Review Board’s decision that Barter remains a “significant threat to the public.”
Barter was found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder on Jan. 10, 2011 on a charge of second-degree murder in connection with the death of Nathan Mayrhofer in a Vernon apartment building in 2010.
Barter and Mayrhofer had been out drinking when Mayrhofer spent the night at Barter’s apartment. Early the next morning, Barter struck a sleeping Mayrhofer over the head with a hammer, put a plastic bag over his head and dragged his body to the bathtub. After leaving to go get cigarettes, Barter returned and dismembered Mayrhofer’s body, cleaned up his apartment, and disposed of the cutting tools. He told his parents the next day what he had done.
Barter had no prior history of violence.
He was diagnosed with schizophrenia, an alcohol-use disorder (in full sustained remission as of 2018) and Tourette disorder.
In January 2015, the B.C. Review Board granted Barter a conditional discharge (meaning he could leave the facility as long as he was escorted) and that status was continued after reviews in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
The board denied Barter’s application for an absolute discharge, citing evidence of “continuing inflexibility, rigid thinking and sense of entitlement,” and the opinion of Barter’s psychiatrist, who feels Barter “continues to exhibit symptoms of his mental disorder, with the result that he remains a significant threat to the public.”
“In these circumstances, the board’s decision that he remains on a conditional discharge cannot be said to be unreasonable,” wrote the panel of three judges, who dismissed Barter’s appeal.