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Hearing set for man found not criminally responsible in cop's death

The first-degree murder trial for Richard Kachkar, accused in the death of Toronto Sgt. Ryan Russell, begins on Feb. 4, 2013. CITYNEWS/Marianne Boucher

A mentally ill man who was found not criminally responsible for killing a Toronto police officer with a snow plow will have a hearing to determine his status later this month.

A jury found that Richard Kachkar, 46, was mentally disturbed and couldn’t appreciate what he was doing when he killed Sgt. Ryan Russell, 35, two years ago.

A hearing before the Ontario Review Board, which manages people found not criminally responsible in the province, has been scheduled for April 26 and will take place in a Toronto courtroom.

The board will determine whether Kachkar will be sent to a mental hospital or released into the community.

If he is sent to a hospital the board will review Kachkar’s case annually and only when they decide he is no longer a significant threat to the safety of the public will they release him.

Under changes proposed by the Conservative government, people found not criminally responsible and designated a high-risk offender could have their time between hearings lengthened to three years.