Conte faces another psychiatric assessment

Alex Conte, accused of second degree murder will be assessed further

Alex Conte, charged with second degree for the murder of his 58-year-old mother Sarah Nickerson on January 8, appeared via video conferencing on February 23 in Western Communities Court to ascertain whether he was fit to stand trial.

Conte, sat passively looking at the video camera throughout the proceeding. He showed little, if any, expression during the proceedings.

A psychiatric assessment was ordered on January 12 to determine whether Conte was fit to stand trial. The assessment was received by Crown prosecutor Christine Lowe on February 16 and it was determined by the psychiatrist that Conte was marginally fit.

Defence lawyer William Heflin filed an agreed statement of facts (protected by a publication ban) and asked for another assessment of Conte’s fitness to stand trial.

On Thursday, Feb. 23 Judge Evan Blake ordered another psychiatric assessment which is to take place over the next 30 days. Conte is to reappear before the court on March 22 at 2 p.m.

Judge Blake ordered the assessment to determine whether the accused at the time of the alleged offense was suffering from a mental disorder. The assessment will be held at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Port Coquitlam.

On Jan. 8 police were called to Sarah Nickerson’s trailer home where they found her body and and 21-year-old Conte was arrested at the scene.

Nickerson was well-known in Sooke and her son Alex was at one time a rising star in the skateboard scene. He attended Edward Milne Community School.