20-year-old Alexander James Thorpe, the Airdrie man who was charged with the second-degree murder of his mother, Melanie Lowen, appeared in provincial court on Thursday. Thorpe appeared via telephone from the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre. He waived his right to a preliminary inquiry. 

The accused’s defence counsel David Roper told provincial court Judge Ken McLeod that he wanted to set a date in criminal appearance court in order to schedule a Not Criminally Responsible (NCR) hearing. 

Such a defence most likely means that Thorpe’s lawyers will argue that he can’t be held responsible for killing his mother due to a mental health disorder. 

According to the Criminal Code of Canada, “No person is criminally responsible for an act committed or an omission made while suffering from a mental disorder that rendered the person incapable of appreciating the nature and quality of the act or omission or of knowing that it was wrong.” 

Judge Macleod accepted the defence’s application and Jim Sawa, the crown prosecutor, was not opposed to the application but underlined that the crown would want to see Thorpe’s medical records in order to determine if the such the case would proceed to trial or if Thorpe indeed would be eligible for a not criminally responsible hearing. 

In January 2022, Airdrie RCMP responded to a 911 call of a male in medical distress at a business in northeast Airdrie.  As a result of the investigation, a well-being check was done at a residence in Airdrie.  

An adult female, who was later identified as Lowen, was located deceased in the residence and her death is believed to be suspicious. 

An autopsy was performed on Jan. 14, 2022, and the manner of death has been deemed a homicide by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, and Thorpe was subsequently arrested. 

Thorpe will remain at the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre pending his hearing. 

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