Man accused of killing parents, stabbing co-worker left crisis centre despite order to stay: court docs

A man charged with killing his elderly parents and then stabbing his supervisor at a Winnipeg hospital last year was ordered to be involuntarily assessed by a psychiatrist the morning of the attacks — but he walked out of the facility hours later, court documents allege.

Trevor Robert Farley, 38, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his mother, Judy Swain, and second-degree murder in the death of his father, Stuart Farley. Both were 73 years old.

Trevor Farley is also charged with attempted murder in connection with a stabbing at Seven Oaks Hospital in Winnipeg that happened on the same day his parents were killed.

Recently unsealed court documents — written by investigators to get search warrants — contain details about what police believed happened in the hours before the Oct. 27, 2021, attacks. None of the allegations have been tested in court.

According to documents written by RCMP and Winnipeg police before getting warrants to search Farley’s car and home last year, Farley sought help for mental health issues at the Mental Health Crisis Response Centre on Winnipeg’s Bannatyne Avenue.

He went to the crisis centre on Oct. 26, 2021, and spent the night, according to the court documents.

Shared Health says individuals can be kept involuntarily at the Crisis Response Centre if their mental health issues are deemed to be severe by a physician. (Holly Caruk/CBC)

Shortly before 9 a.m. on Oct. 27, Farley was reassessed, and a decision was made to admit him to be involuntarily assessed by a physician. What’s referred to as a “Form 4” was completed, a corporal with the RCMP major crimes unit wrote in his application to search Farley’s car.

A Form 4 allows an individual to be taken to a psychiatric facility for an assessment by a psychiatrist when they are either unwilling or unable to consent to a voluntary assessment.

Shared Health says individuals can be kept involuntarily at the Crisis Response Centre if their mental health issues are deemed to be severe by a physician.

Patients who meet that criteria are then sent to an in-patient psychiatric ward, but if a bed is not available they stay at the Crisis Response Centre, and will almost always stay in an assessment room until a bed becomes available.

“If staff believe the person is at high risk to leave the CRC and there is a likelihood of them harming themselves or others, they are typically moved to a locked secure room under constant observation, where ongoing staff support is provided,” a Shared Health spokesperson said in an email.

“The CRC is not a locked facility, so it is possible for individuals to leave unless in a locked secure room.”

The provincial health authority said if someone under involuntary status leaves the facility, police are notified to find the person and transport them to the emergency department.

Delusions, hallucinations: assessment

In the search warrant documents, the RCMP officer noted that he read the application for the involuntary assessment. The doctor who filled out the form wrote Farley had a disorganized thought process, believed he was a prophet, had delusions and auditory hallucinations, and had intense suicidal thoughts.

Around 11:45 a.m. — about three hours after the form was filled out — Farley walked out of the facility’s front door, the court document alleges.

“The crisis worker and the security tried to intervene but he kept walking away towards Arlington Street,” the RCMP officer noted.

The Crisis Response Centre staff called 911, as per the centre’s policy, as well as Farley’s estranged wife, according to the document.

Yellow tape reading "Police Line, Do Not Cross" stretches across a grassy lawn in front of a two-storey house in a rural area.
Police investigate at the home of Judy Swain in New Bothwell, Man., on Oct. 29, 2021, two days after she was found dead. (Holly Caruk/CBC)

Farley’s wife called Swain at her home in New Bothwell, about 40 kilometres south of Winnipeg, to see if she had heard from her son, and they spoke about Farley’s mental health struggles, according to the officer’s statement.

“[Farley’s wife] suddenly heard Judy screaming.”

Then she could “hear a male voice in the background and heard Judy yelling ‘Trevor’ several times,” the RCMP officer wrote.

Farley’s wife called RCMP and officers were sent to check on Swain, the documents say. They found the 73-year-old’s body in the garage when they arrived.

Sought help for mental health issues

Two days before Farley walked out of the crisis response unit, his wife told police he was turned away from the facility because it didn’t have a bed available. He was told to go to a hospital instead.

Farley went to the Health Sciences Centre but left before being seen by a doctor, a Winnipeg police officer indicated in a separate application for a warrant to search Farley’s home. 

He then went to St. Boniface Hospital, where he was prescribed medication, but a pharmacist later asked for his dose to be lowered, the documents allege.

Around 1 p.m. on the day of the killings, Farley sent his wife a text message that read, “Maybe a 100 milligram was the correct dose. It’ll be a while before I see the kids, send me pictures,” the RCMP officer wrote in the document.

The documents lay out what police believe was the timeline of the events that day.

They believe after leaving the Crisis Response Centre shortly before noon, Farley went to his father’s home on Toronto Street in Winnipeg.

Stuart Farley was found dead in his home later that evening.

From Toronto Street, police say he drove to his mother’s home in New Bothwell. Police allege that after killing Swain there, he drove to Seven Oaks Hospital in Winnipeg, where he worked as a nurse. He’s accused of stabbing a nursing supervisor there 14 times.

Trevor Farley was arrested outside Seven Oaks Hospital on the afternoon of Oct. 27, 2021, shortly after a nursing supervisor was stabbed inside the hospital. (Darin Morash/CBC)

Police who found Swain’s body used Farley’s cellphone to track his location, which led them to Seven Oaks Hospital. While police were in the area searching for his car, Farley ran out of the hospital in front of officers carrying a knife, the warrant documents say. 

Farley was then arrested.

In May, Farley was served a direct indictment in his case, which means it will head straight to trial.

The trial is scheduled to begin in October next year. A plea has not yet been entered.

If you or someone you know is struggling, here’s where to get help:

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