CBC: Teen accused of killing Calgary youth worker ‘extremely childlike,’ lawyer says as psych assessment ordered

The 18-year-old accused of killing a youth worker at a Calgary assisted living facility last week has a violent history, according to the victim’s union, as a judge heard concerns over the teen’s mental capacity.

Brandon Jacob Spencer Newman comes across as “extremely childlike,” said defence lawyer Allan Fay after his client’s brief appearance in a Calgary court on Friday.

Newman is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Deborah Onwu, who was a case worker with Wood’s Homes, a non-profit organization that offers mental health programs and services for at-risk children and youth.

Fay says he is worried his client does not understand what has happened and may not grasp the gravity of the situation.

“I’m concerned with his ability to properly instruct counsel,” Fay said outside court. “He strikes me as an extremely childlike individual.”

Newman has violent history: union

Judge Susan Pepper ordered Newman to return to the provincial court on Monday so he can see a court-appointed psychiatrist. At that time, a 30-day psychiatric assessment may be ordered.

Onwu, 47, was a caseworker who was supporting Newman at his Wood’s Homes assisted living residence.

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