A man who was released from a forensic psychiatric hospital less than six months before his common-law wife was found dead of multiple stab wounds in West Vancouver's Lighthouse Park has pled guilty to manslaughter in her death.
Alexander Lawrence LaGlace, 48, entered the plea Thursday morning before B.C. Supreme Court Justice Terry Schultes near the end of a trial on a charge of second-degree murder.
In pleading guilty to manslaughter, LaGlace has admitted killing Tammy Cordone, 43, whose body was found in a tent in the West Vancouver park on May 19, 2009, but not that he intended to kill her.
LaGlace will be sentenced in February, after completion of a psychiatric report.
It was LaGlace himself who called 9-1-1 in the early morning hours to report that someone had killed Cordone. Police who first arrived at the campsite that day found Cordone's body in the tent where the homeless couple had been camping.
An autopsy revealed she had been stabbed 18 times in the chest.
LaGlace was a suspect early in the investigation, but police were unsuccessful in gaining his confession until launching an undercover operation nine months later.
LaGlace confessed to killing Cordone as he was riding in a wiretapped car with an undercover officer posing as a crime boss.
In audiotapes of those wiretaps played during the trial, LaGlace talked about how Cordone was stabbed in the chest "probably 10 or 15 times." LaGlace told the undercover officer there was no evidence because he had got rid of all Cordone's belongings and threw the knife used to stab Cordone into the bush.
"No one knows nothing. You're the first one I ever told this to," LaGlace said.
In other wiretapped conversations, LaGlace had told the undercover officer on the phone that when he got bored "people disappear into the spirit world."
"I'm a killer," he said on the wiretapped phone conversation. "Just kidding . . . I like messing with people's minds."
In another call he told the undercover officer he "just wants to kill someone again."
Outside the court on Thursday, Crown prosecutor Nicole Gregoire described the manslaughter plea as "a reasonable and safe outcome" in the case.
She noted in order to prove second-degree murder, the Crown would have to prove the reliability of LaGlace's statements to the undercover officer, which were made "with a previous history of substance abuse and psychiatric issues." Some of the statements were also made while LaGlace was drunk or on drugs.
According to two reports by the British Columbia Review Board, LaGlace was released from the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Port Coquitlam less than six months before the killing after the board concluded there was no reason to keep him in the mental hospital despite his "lengthy and significant history of mental disturbance" including paranoid schizophrenia and addiction to numerous drugs including crack cocaine.
The board concluded that beyond LaGlace's history of threats, kicking another patient and possession of weapons "the accused has no history of violence and certainly none involving actual harm to others."
However a psychiatrist also warned if LaGlace continued abusing drugs, LaGlace would likely, "relapse to overt psychosis including paranoia and fear of others . . . it is in those circumstances that the risk of future antisocial behaviour becomes most prominent."
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