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UPDATE: Expert says Clow could have been in drug-induced psychotic state when Traci Lynch died

["The murder scene at Joel Clow's home in Pleasant Grove. "]
["The murder scene at Joel Clow's home in Pleasant Grove. "]

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Joel Clow could have been experiencing a drug-induced psychotic state at the time of Traci Lynch’s death, a toxicology expert testified Thursday.

This photo of Joel Clow that was entered into evidence in his first-degree murder trial was taken at the RCMP detachment in Montague after his arrest in connection with the investigation into Traci Lynch’s death on July 24, 2015.

Peter Mullen took the stand for the defence and talked about his assessment of the findings in an RCMP toxicology report.

Mullen prepared his own report that said based on information he was provided, including Clow’s behaviour and assumed drug use, the accused would have been extremely intoxicated around the time Lynch died.

It was highly probable Clow would have experienced a drug-induce psychotic state characterized by a high risk for becoming paranoid, delusional and suddenly violent, Mullen said in his report.

“In such a drug-induced psychotic state, it is my opinion that Mr. Clow would have had little rational capacity to comprehend the consequences of his actions.”  

Clow is on trial in P.E.I. Supreme Court in Charlottetown after pleading not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Traci Lynch in Pleasant Grove on July 24, 2015.

A statement of admissions previously presented in court said Clow acknowledged his physical acts must be responsible for Lynch’s unlawful death.

The forensic pathologist who conducted the autopsy determined Lynch died from strangulation and a blunt head injury.

A toxicology report on a sample of Clow’s blood drawn at 9:53 p.m. on July 24, 2015 found alcohol, methamphetamine, amphetamine, THC and THC metabolites, a cocaine metabolite and a sedative.

The court heard the cocaine metabolite indicated Clow used cocaine, but not when he used it.

This photo of Joel Clow that was entered into evidence in his first-degree murder trial was taken at the RCMP detachment in Montague after his arrest in connection with the investigation into Traci Lynch’s death on July 24, 2015.

Mullen said based on the assumption Clow didn’t consume any alcohol between when his blood was drawn and Lynch died the level of alcohol would have been in the range of 267 to 461 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood.
The legal limit for driving is 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.
Mullen said based on his extrapolations, the level of methamphetamine in Clow’s blood at the time Lynch died could have caused any of several effects, including aggression and hallucinations.
Methamphetamine abuse can also cause ideas of infidelity and jealousy delusions about the user’s partner, Mullen said.
Mullen told the court he interviewed Clow in Novemeber 2016.

At that time Clow told him he used to hallucinate while under the effect of drugs and still heard voices like the sound of children in a playground, Mullen said.

Before Mullen took the stand in the afternoon, the Crown closed its case after the last prosecution witness finished his testimony.

The trial resumes Friday with the defence calling its next witness.

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

twitter.com/ryanrross

Earlier in the trial:  

Day 1: Clow murder trial hears testimony from witnesses who found blood, hair, drag marks  

Day 2: Joel Clow asked P.E.I. police why they didn't shoot him, trial hears

Day 3: Traci Lynch told friends she was scared of Joel Clow, murder trial hears

Day 4: Strangulation, blunt head trauma caused Traci Lynch's death, P.E.I. murder trial hears

Day 5: Judge considering what evidence will be admissible in Clow murder trial

Day 6: Wet women’s clothing, possible blood traces found in Clow's home

Day 7: 'I didn't intend to kill nobody,' Clow told P.E.I. police about Traci Lynch

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