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B.C. man pleads not guilty in Chinatown triple stabbing

The man allegedly stabbed three people while on a day pass from a psychiatric facility where, five months earlier, he had been deemed a “significant” threat to public safety after.
Vancouver Provincial Court
A Vancouver Provincial Courthouse where Blair Evan Donnelly is facing charges of aggravated assault for stabbing three people during a festival in Chinatown.

A man accused of stabbing three people in Vancouver’s Chinatown Sept. 10, 2023 has pleaded not guilty to three counts of aggravated assault.

Among the victims was a Burnaby couple in their 60s, who sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries, according to police. The other victim was a woman in her 20s from Vancouver.

The alleged offences happened during the Light Up Chinatown! festival.

Blair Evan Donnelly was taken into custody nearby, police said.

He is currently being held at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, Vancouver Provincial Court Judge Laura Bakan heard at the April 10 arraignment hearing.

Donnelly has elected a trial by provincial court judge.

An articling student representing defence lawyer Glen Orris said a two-week trial is expected for the case.

Crown prosecutor Jacinta Lawton said Donnelly has yet to have a bail hearing.

At the time of the stabbing, Donnelly was on an unescorted day pass from a Metro Vancouver forensic psychiatric facility, according to police.

He was originally in care after being found not criminally responsible for the 2006 stabbing of his 16-year-old daughter. 

As recently as April, the B.C. Review Board ruled Donnelly remained a “significant” threat to public safety, according to a report leaked to media.

B.C. Premier David Eby announced in September that former Abbotsford police chief Bob Rich has been hired to review how Donnelly came to be released from the psychiatric facility before the stabbing.

With files from Cornelia Nayor and Canadian Press