95-year-old man faces psych assessment after being charged with murder

VERNON, B.C. – A 95-year-old man who’s been charged with murdering his roommate will undergo a psychiatric assessment before his next court appearance next month.

But the Crown in the case says there is no wish to put dementia patient John Furman behind bars.

“We’re certainly not interested in incarcerating this gentleman, who I understand is a decorated war veteran and otherwise excellent citizen up until he got this Alzheimer’s disease,” Crown lawyer Howard Pontius said outside court.

He said authorities had little choice but to charge Furman with murder, but considering the circumstances he thinks it’s unlikely the charge will proceed.

Furman was charged with murder after his 85-year-old roommate was killed.

RCMP have said police received a report of an assault Sunday night at the Vernon Jubilee Hospital’s residential care facility.

Pontius said the psychiatric review will determine whether Furman is not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder.

“They could address the main issue in this case, which is the risk that he poses to other people,” Pontius said.

Furman was not in court for the hearing Wednesday, but his lawyer appeared on his behalf.

He will return to court on Sept. 25. (CKIZ)