Lawyers for a Toronto executive who allegedly stabbed a man repeatedly outside a Rosedale apartment complex last week says they strongly believe mental health played a role in the incident.
Lawyers for Ellis Kirkland spoke to CTV Toronto Sunday, a day before they were set to appear in court on her behalf. Kirkland, 60, has been charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and other charges in connection with the stabbing.
Police were called to the apartment complex in midtown Thursday morning after Kirkland allegedly stabbed the doorman at her building several times with a kitchen knife. Later that morning, they found Kirkland on a highrise hotel room balcony. Hours later, tactical officers repelled from the roof to save and arrest Kirkland.
Police told CTV Toronto that the 67-year-old doorman suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was released from hospital on Saturday.
Kirkland, a Harvard University-educated architect, is currently being held at the Vanier Centre for Women in Milton, Ont. She will be represented by two lawyers, Mitchell Worsoff and former Liberal MP and lawyer, John Nunziata, in mental health court on Monday. The lawyers said they will be asking the Crown for as much information as possible. And they are anxious to have their client assessed by a forensic psychologist.
Both lawyers met with Kirkland on Saturday, and said they strongly believe mental health is an issue in this case.
“She’s obviously very troubled,” Worsoff told CTV Toronto on Sunday. “I don’t want to say too much at this time but there may be some very severe mental health issues.”
Worsoff said Kirkland is stable but appeared confused on Saturday when he met her. He says she appeared to have no knowledge about what happened.
“She could have perhaps just blacked out, which has happened in certain scenarios, where she’s not criminally responsible,” Worsoff said.
Kirkland’s behaviour was unusual given her prominent past, Worsoff added. Kirkland was the first female president of an Ontario architects association, and is an award-winning, internationally renowned global trade specialist.
“She comes from a very well-educated, sophisticated background,” Worsoff said. “She’s had no brushes with the law previously – it’s surprising to everybody.”
With a report by CTV Toronto’s Naomi Parness