Ontario man not criminally responsible in wife’s death, house explosion in 2018 | CBC News

Udo Haan of Kitchener, Ont., has been found not criminally responsible in the death of his wife as a result of a 2018 home explosion, with the judge’s decision noting the 62-year-old has a medical disorder. 

The decision by Ontario Superior Court Justice Paul Sweeny means Haan won’t stand trial for Edra Haan’s death.

The case will now go to the Ontario Review Board to decide whether Udo Haan poses a risk and when he may be released into the community, Sweeny said. 

On Aug. 22, 2018, emergency crews were called to the Sprucedale Crescent home just after 8 a.m. ET for a house explosion. Udo was found critically injured. Edra’s body was discovered in the backyard of the home.

The explosion destroyed the house and damaged several nearby homes.

Haan was charged with first-degree murder, one count of arson, disregard for human life and two counts of arson damage to property.

The accused was denied bail in January 2019.

Forensic psychiatrists note Haan’s mental state

This week, both the Crown and defence argued he was not criminally responsible for his actions, opinions that were in part based on the evidence of two forensic psychiatrists: Dr. Giovana Valadares de Amorim Levin, who spoke in court on Wednesday, and Dr. Scott Woodside, who testified Thursday.

Although Sweeny acknowledged Haan committed the act that led to the charges, he said he accepted that delusions were the driving force behind Haan’s behaviour and he didn’t know they were morally wrong.

In his report, Woodside said Haan suffered from major depressive disorder with psychotic features, or delusional disorder, when he killed his wife. 

Edra Haan’s body was found in the backyard of her home in Kitchener on Aug. 22, 2018, after the house explosion. (Facebook)

Woodside’s opinion was there was strong evidence of active symptoms of psychosis leading up to his wife’s death and the house explosion that he said is corroborated by independent evidence.

“His actions [were] being driven by untrue thoughts,” Woodside told the court.

Woodside met with the accused on four occasions and spent 8.75 hours with him during these interviews. He also reviewed materials that were provided to him, including notes, medical records and transcripts.

During interviews with both Woodside and Levin, the court was told Haan offered inconsistent accounts of his mental state the day his wife was killed. During these conversations, he expressed paranoid thoughts that his wife was a part of a prostitution ring and organized crime members were threatening his life. He also believed someone was spying on him. 

Woodside said he believed Haan was experiencing resentment and anger, but didn’t believe it was enough to kill his wife and pointed out that he had no history of violence. 

He said stress of an impending divorce combined with active psychotic illness provided the most likely explanation for killing his wife and blowing up their home.

An agreed statement of facts noted that Udo and his wife of 40 years were in the process of separating in the summer of 2018.

Haan will remain in jail pending the Ontario Review Board decision.

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