Dobson found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder
A judge has found Mark Dobson guilty for the satanic cult killings of two women at the Travelodge in Barrie in May of 2012.
The judge called the murders of Mary Hepburn and Helen Dorrington grotesque and found Dobson criminally responsible in both counts of first degree murder on Thursday.
Outside the Barrie courthouse, Sonya Hepburn clutched the ashes of her daughter just moments after the judgement was delivered.
“It’s good that it’s first-degree murder but it doesn’t bring her back…she’s my everything.”
The court heard that in May 2012, Dobson slit the women’s throats in what was supposed to be a satanic suicide pack that didn’t go as planned. The three had met on the ‘Joy of Satan’ website and believed they would reunite on another planet. Sonya Hepburn says she was shocked when she learned of the satanic beliefs.
“There were no indications, none what so ever,” added Hepburn.
The defence argued Dobson should be found be found not criminally responsible because he suffered from schizophrenia at the time.
Justice J.A. Watt acknowledged Dobson probably suffered from schizophrenia for years but said when he killed the women he appreciated that it was morally wrong.
“On its own, a mental disorder does not exempt anyone from criminal responsibility,” said Justice Watt in court.
Justice Watt also pointed out that Dobson understood the results and the consequences of his actions when he admitted to killing the women to emergency responders at the scene and also in an interview the next day with police when Dobson said he thought he would get life in jail or the death penalty.
“These were acts Mark Dobson knew were legally wrong,” added Justice Watt in court. “I cannot accept that he was incapable of knowing.”
Dobson sat in the prisoners box and didn’t show any emotion when the judge read the verdict. The defence plans to review the judgement and is considering an appeal.
“It's disappointing; he still has those issues to grapple with, where his going to end up – he won’t get the help with that,” said defence lawyer Mitch Eisen.
A first-degree murder conviction carries a life sentence but the Crown will be asking for a consecutive sentence meaning Dobson will have no chance of parole for 50 years.
A sentencing hearing will begin on February 10th, 2015