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Foster Alumnus Kills

March 21, 2008 permalink

Another foster child has graduated to the criminal justice system, where he will likely remain indefinitely. Luke Aday grew up in foster care in British Columbia and following a brief emancipation slashed the throat of James Allanach.



Foster parent tried often to get help for accused

Richard Watts, Times Colonist, Friday, March 21, 2008

Accused killer Luke Aday lied, stole and was clearly troubled as a child, but despite repeated pleas from a foster parent he got little help from child welfare, B.C. Supreme Court heard yesterday.

Laura Luz, foster parent and operator of an assessment centre, testified that Aday as a boy was a thief with a violent temper. And as time went on she found him cutting his own arms with a knife.

Luz said she repeatedly pleaded with social workers for extra help for the boy, such as a psychiatric assessment or medication. But "glitches" in the system always held up any promised help, she added. "I was very frustrated at the way the care was going," said Luz.

Aday, 21, is now on trial charged with second-degree murder in the July 16, 2006, throat-slashing death of James Allanach, 34. The body of the 34-year-old Allanach was discovered at Central Middle School, hours after he died.

Court has heard Allanach was nearly decapitated by cuts to his throat, and his left ear was removed. Other evidence has Aday keeping the ear in an empty cigarette packet.

Court has heard Aday testify he was out earlier that evening for a late-night walk after an evening of drinking. He met Allanach, who had also been drinking, and the two walked, talked and later sat on the steps of the school.

There, for reasons he hasn't fully been able to explain, Aday said he became terrified when Allanach touched his neck. The next thing he knew his knife was in the other man's throat and his hand on the handle.

Defence counsel Rory Morahan has said Aday failed to ever form the intent to kill or harm necessary for a murder conviction. A combination of alcohol, momentary stress and personality and mental disorders, the result of a difficult upbringing, left Aday unstable, Morahan has argued.

Luz said she had care of Aday for about one year, beginning in 1999. She found Aday a likable child. He was smart, funny, good in school and quite advanced. But out of sight he was a habitual thief. "I told Luke many times I would love to keep him into his adult life but he needed to get the stealing under control," she said.

Later she found him cutting himself on the arms with a knife. "I remember talking to him about it and getting the sense that for him it was a release."

The trial, in front of Justice David Vickers sitting without a jury, continues.

Source: Times Colonist (Victoria)