Frank William Edward Marion will undergo a psychiatric assessment to determine if he is criminally responsible for setting a house on fire that led to the death of a prominent member of Prince George's Sikh community.
Jagdev Singh Jawanda, 85, died Jan. 7, 2012 in hospital from smoke inhalation a few hours after he was found unconscious in his 2772 Merritt Rd. home. Marion, 50, lived in a second-floor suite and Jawanda, a retired math teacher who lived on the floor above in the three-storey house, was his landlord.
While the case against Marion was based entirely on circumstantial evidence, Justice Ron Tindale found there was enough to find Marion guilty of the three charges he faces, the most serious being manslaughter.
He noted that during an incident at the home about a month prior, Marion was heard by tenants living below him and by an attending RCMP officer saying that he was going to burn the house down.
The fire was "clearly and intentionally lit with gasoline," and a propane bottle was found in the open door of an oven in the kitchen, as was a jerry can in the bathtub of Marion's suite, Tindale continued.
Police found Marion a kilometre away from the home, banging on doors in the vicinity of Lansdowne and Ferry Avenue about 10 minutes before fireighters were first called to Jawanda's home shortly after 3 a.m.
They found Marion with a duffel bag that strongly smelled of gas and later testing found gas on his jeans, Tindale said.
Marion did go through a psychiatric assessment when he was first arrested, but Tindale agreed with defence lawyer Keith Jones that it was more of a "drive-by" assessment and that a more thorough version is in order.
The original assessment concluded Marion was criminally responsible but Tindale found it to be limited because Marion denied carrying out the acts and did not recall detail about what happened that morning.
Tindale said Marion's behaviour at the time of the incident and when RCMP were called to his home the month before was "bizarre" but also noted a crack pipe was found in the suite. Self-induced intoxication is not a defence under the Criminal Code.
Marion will remain in custody while the assessment is carried out.