Sentencing hearing postponed for mentally ill man who killed gay rights activist

HALIFAX - The sentencing hearing for the mentally ill Nova Scotia man who killed gay rights activist Raymond Taavel has been adjourned until late February.

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Andre Noel Denny pleaded guilty to manslaughter in November, more than three years after the high-profile crime.

An agreed statement of facts presented in Nova Scotia Supreme Court says Denny failed to return to a Halifax-area forensic psychiatric facility after receiving an unescorted, one-hour pass on April 16, 2012.

The statement says Denny's mental state was impaired by psychosis caused by consuming alcohol and crack cocaine when he got into an argument with Taavel, punched him in the head and slammed his face into the pavement.

Today's hearing was expected to sort out how much credit Denny should receive for time served, but lawyers for the defence and Crown had earlier agreed on six years, which meant they spent much of the hearing discussing other matters.

Nova Scotia Supreme Court Judge Peter Rosinski said the sentencing hearing on Feb. 22, expected to last one day, will include three victim impact statements, a surveillance video from inside the bar where Denny met Taavel and possibly a video tribute to Taavel produced by Halifax's gay community.


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