The Canadian Press

Saint-Jerome, Quebec:  A psychiatrist for the defence is maintaining her opinion that Guy Turcotte was suffering from mental illness prior to stabbing his children to death.

Dominique Bourget continues to be cross-examined today by the Crown, which maintains Turcotte was fully aware of his actions the night the children were killed.

Turcotte has pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder in the February 2009 slayings of Olivier, 5, and Anne-Sophie, 3. He has admitted to causing their deaths but his lawyers are arguing he should be found not criminally responsible by way of mental disorder.

The Crown contends Turcotte is guilty of premeditated murder and that Bourget’s diagnosis of psychiatric illness is an opinion, not a certainty, given her assessment occurred some 11 months after the double slaying.

Bourget, a forensic psychiatrist, is on the stand for a fourth consecutive day at a courthouse north of Montreal where Turcotte’s first-degree murder trial has been unfolding since mid-September.

She maintains Turcotte’s brain was profoundly sick and he was unable to stop himself from killing his children.

Bourget has testified Turcotte, 43, was suffering from an adjustment disorder, exhibiting signs of anxiety and depression with obsessive-compulsive traits and was in suicidal crisis.

“An adjustment disorder does not develop overnight,” Bourget said Monday.