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Sask. man accused of killing his mother was hearing violent voices and police knew, brother claims

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Emmett Constant says that his brother Everett isn’t a cold-blooded killer — he’s suffering from a mental illness.

On May 4, 29-year-old Everett Constant was arrested and charged with second-degree murder in the death of his mother Beverly Constant in her Prince Albert apartment. This, just hours after being released from police custody for allegedly assaulting a nurse at Victoria Hospital.

At the time, Prince Albert police Chief Patrick Nogier told CTV News that officers looked at the foreseeable risk of releasing Everett after the assault charge, and said they could not have predicted this outcome.

“We did our due diligence,” he said. “We just don’t have a crystal ball to, to determine what’s going to happen at the end of the day after he’d been released.”

But Emmett says his brother was hearing voices telling him to hurt himself and his family for months — and he claims the police were informed.

“My brother was unwell. He was hearing voices. He was very transparent about that,” said Emmett.

Everett Constant pictured in an undated Facebook photo. (Source: Facebook / Everett Constant)

Emmett first noticed changes in his brother around December or January. He was put on medical leave from his job at the McArthur River Uranium Mine after an incident where Emmett says he was wide awake but became completely unresponsive, frozen in his tracks.

After that, his brother’s condition deteriorated, and he was drinking to cope.

“It just kind of snowballed from there,” he said.

Everett complained of hearing voices with violent commands, he started having seizures and blackouts, and he was suicidal, Emmett said.

On Feb. 19, Everett tried to kill himself by jumping off his mother’s second-floor balcony. Emmett says he called police to the scene, and told them on the phone about his brother’s violent hallucinations.

When officers arrived at the apartment, Emmett claims they heard for themselves.

“One thing he told them specifically was that he needed to stab me in the heart,” Emmett said.

“I’m having trouble understanding why this wasn’t taken more seriously.”

CTV News asked Nogier if any officers recorded Everett’s statements from the Feb. 19 incident, or if police were aware about the family’s concerns. In an emailed statement, he said he could not comment for confidentiality reasons.

“We understand the public and media's interest in this case and the need for timely updates,” he said. “At this stage, specific details of the investigation, including personal health information, cannot be disclosed.”

When Everett was taken to hospital after the suicide attempt, his family hoped he would be placed into inpatient treatment and get the care he needed, but Emmett says he was released after about a week.

On one occasion where they had Everett admitted to Victoria Hospital, Emmett claims his brother was cleared for release by a psychiatrist while he was strapped down to a chair for trying to pull out his IVs.

A photo of Everett Constant strapped to a chair after trying to pull out his IVs in hospital. His brother says this was right before he was discharged. (Courtesy: Emmett Constant)

Emmett says his mom would get frustrated that neither doctors, nor police could see how serious the situation was, and how out of character Everett was behaving.

“She would say … ‘what needs to happen? Does someone need to get hurt?'

“It’s not normal for someone to be acting out like that, especially for someone that I spent so much time with for my entire life. He was not like this … he was not a violent individual whatsoever.”

Through a spokesperson, the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) said it could not comment on the case because it involves private medical information, but it did confirm there is an on-call psychiatrist at Victoria Hospital available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Victoria Hospital has an inpatient adult mental health unit that provides acute care services, according to the SHA, and also provides access to psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers on an outpatient basis.

The Ministry of Health includes an online summary of the guidelines under the Mental Health Services Act to get someone in treatment against their will.

A doctor can compel someone to be examined by a psychiatrist if they believe the person has a mental disorder, according to the ministry.

So can a police officer — if they believe the person suffers a mental disorder that will probably make them harm themselves or others, or that their illness will get worse if left untreated.

A friend or family member can also go to a judge for an order to have someone examined by a psychiatrist.

That’s just to have a psychiatrist examine someone.

To have someone admitted into an inpatient mental health unit and held against their will for an extended period, two doctors need to issue certificates confirming the patient meets several conditions, including that they’re a danger to themselves and others. One of those certificates needs to come from a psychiatrist.

In an emergency, the ministry says a patient can be held for up to three days with only one medical certificate. Where two doctors have issued certificates, a patient can be held for up to 21 days.

“If your doctor believes you need to stay longer, two more medical certificates may be written to make you stay up to another 21 days,” according to the Ministry of Health.

Standing outside his mother’s apartment, just metres from the Prince Albert Provincial Correctional Centre where Everett is being held on remand, Emmett says he just wants his brother to get the treatment he needs.

“I just hope that he can get the help that my mom wanted for him.”

(Courtesy: Beau "Lac" Funeral Home)

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