A man was acquitted of murdering his mother-in-law after saying he was sleepwalking when he drove 15 miles to her house and hit her with an iron bar and repeatedly stabbed her.
An Ontario Supreme Court jury deliberated nine hours before finding Kenneth Parks, of nearby Pickering, not guilty on Thursday.
Parks, 24, was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Barbara Woods, 42, at her Toronto home last summer. He is still charged with the attempted murder of his father-in-law, Denis, who was choked and stabbed.
Defense lawyer Marlys Edwardh said that on the night of the killing, Parks "plunged into a deep, deep sleep. His next memory is seeing his mother-in-law's face."
The lawyer said that when Parks regained consciousness, blood dripping from his severely cut hands, he drove to a nearby police station and told officers: "My God, I've just killed two people."
Edwardh asked the jury to acquit Parks because he was in "a sleep-state in which . . . there is no choice."
Prosecutors called the defense "simply ludicrous" and argued that acquittal "would be an affront to the community's sense of justice and certainly (to) one's common sense."