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Not-criminally-responsible argument proceeding forward in soccer stabbing case

The Crown won't be calling an expert to refute a not-criminally-responsible defence for Nicholas Layman.

Nicholas Layman is led out of provincial court in St. John’s this morning after a brief appearance before a judge.

It means a resolution could be coming soon in the case of Layman — the young man suspected of stabbing an 11-year-old boy on a soccer field in Conception Bay South last fall.

The 20-year-old was back in provincial court in St. John's today.

Prosecutor Phil LeFeuvre told Judge Lori Marshall that he and defence lawyer Mark Gruchy are making progress in the case.

"it's a very serious matter and a very complicated matter," LeFeuvre said.

He said they have received the medical report from Dr. Jasbir Gill, who has been assessing Layman at the Waterford Hospital.

"We're working our way through it," LeFeuvre said.

The report is key in the defence's pursuit of a not-criminally-responsible case.

LeFeuvre and defence lawyer Mark Gruchy agreed to postpone the case until July 9.

Gruchy said they hope to be in a position at that time to determine the next step in the case.

Layman has been deemed mentally fit to stand trial, but remains at the Waterford Hospital to maintain his mental fitness.

Outside court, Gruchy spoke to the large group of family members who showed up in court for Layman.

Layman is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.

He was arrested on the evening of Sept. 25, 2014, after the stabbing incident.

The 11-year-old victim was one of many children on the soccer pitch in Topsail taking part in a skills camp when Layman allegedly leapt from the bleachers and stabbed him in the neck, chest and shoulders multiple times before fleeing.

The victim was taken to a St. John’s hospital and was in serious condition for weeks. He has since recovered and is back at school.

When Layman appeared in court last fall, his father Scott and stepmother Doreen Layman told reporters that they had no idea of the severity of their son’s mental illness until the stabbing.

Layman also has charges pending from last year in Nova Scotia.

They include theft from Wal-Mart in Cole Harbour, and theft from Sobeys in Halifax, theft from Sobeys and Sears in Dartmouth, as well as possessing stolen property and breaches of court orders - all from June of last year. They will be dealt with separately.


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