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Murder trial begins for young Airdrie man accused of killing mother

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The trial for a 21-year Airdrie man accused of murdering his mother earlier this year got underway on Thursday.

Alexander James Thorpe is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 48-year-old Melanie Lowen, whose body was found in Airdrie on Jan. 13.

Thorpe's defence lawyer is pursuing a defence that his client was not criminally responsible. 

The Crown and the defence are now in the process of reviewing the evidence supporting an agreed statement of facts.

On Thursday, court saw video of Thorpe entering a car dealership just before 8 a.m. on Jan. 13, 2022.

There was no audio on the video, but he could be seen walking naked and barefoot through service bays while holding his phone to his ear.

The court heard he had dried blood on his head, hands and feet and that a religious sermon could be heard coming from his phone.

Court heard from dealership staff who said Thorpe was calm and polite when he spoke, saying little other than "God sent me. God is here for you. He loves you all."

RCMP Const. Aaron Forsythe testified Thorpe said he had "killed the devil that had possessed his mother."

Officers found Lowen dead in a back bedroom of an Airdrie apartment with wounds to her face and throat.

The officer also testified that Thorpe had asked officers to shoot him. Forsythe said and his mood went between calm and crying.

Throughout the proceedings, Thorpe appeared quietly upset and alert, occasionally looking sideways at family members in the gallery.

"There's no question that he was responsible for the injuries, there's no question about that," said his lawyer Balfour Der.

"We heard from friends and family right after the event, everyone is expressing disbelief that it could possibly have been this boy involved.

"I think its difficult for us to explain the depth of this young man's despair. He is so remorseful and misses his mother, and there's this feeling of 'I can't believe this happened, I can't that this happened.'

"It's a very sad story, very tragic."

Thorpe was an honours student at the University of British Columbia where he was pursuing a bachelor of commerce.

"He is otherwise – or was otherwise –  a loving son, best friends with his mother and a really bright young man, good at sports very good at school," Der said.

Thorpe is being tried by judge alone, with no jury.

Der says on Friday court is expected to hear from a psychiatrist who he expects will support the opinion that he was not criminally responsible for what occurred.

"The evidence is going to be that he was suffering from a mental disorder that made him completely different person."

VIDEO SHOWS THORPE IN POLICE CRUISER AFTER MURDER

Video played in court on Thursday shows Thorpe inside a police cruiser after he was apprehended by officers, appearing to talk to himself.

"He never came to kill anyone, Lord. Lord, I’m so sorry for my sins," he said.

“I came to love, I came to heal. I guess I’m a prophet.

“I’m praying for a miracle right now. You would not put me through this for no reason.”

When an officer arrives to ask him if he's doing OK, Thorpe replies "Thank you for being so good to me. Jesus still loves you man."

Alone in the cruiser again, he is heard repeatedly saying how much he loves his mother.

When an officer arrives to ask him about what happened he says "I love her so much but I’ve been through hell."

"I heard him scream from the gates of Hell because he knew I was Jesus," Thorpe tells the officer.

He says he killed Satan, who was possessing his mother.

The officer asks how he did that, and Thorpe replies, "I did it with a door frame and… a knife.”

In court, Thorpe was crying quietly as most of the video played.

In another part of the video, he can be seen talking to himself about his love for his mother, saying "I hope she’s there, I hope she’s there God."

When another RCMP officer returns to the car about 15 minutes later, he is calm and answers clearly.

He’s then told he will be charged with murder.

In response, Thorpe thanks the officer for being nice to him, offers to give a statement on what happened.

He then says quietly but clearly "I’m broken."

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