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Youth Killed and Skinned Young Playmate, Court Hears

June 19, 1996 GMT

SASKATOON, Sakatchewan (AP) _ A 14-year-old boy, influenced by a horror film he saw at least 10 times, killed and skinned a playmate, then cooked his victim’s flesh on a stove.

The grisly details emerged for the first time Tuesday during the murder trial of Sandy Charles.

The case had been kept confidential because of Sandy’s age. But because of the nature of the crime, the teen is being tried in adult court, without the anonymity usually granted juvenile defendants in Canada.

The teen’s attorney, Barry Singer, said Sandy was under the delusion _ after repeated viewings of the horror movie ``Warlock″ _ that he would be able to fly if he drank boiled fat from his victim, 7-year-old Johnathan Thimpsen.

``The idea was if you cut the fat off a virgin, unbaptized child, then boiled it down and drank it, that would give you the power to fly,″ Singer said. Sandy has pleaded innocent to first-degree murder.

His lawyer did not dispute the facts of the killing, but is basing his defense on Sandy’s psychiatric state.

The murder had horrified the northern Saskatchewan town of La Ronge, where rumors have circulated for months that the killing was linked to some sort of satanic ritual.

Sandy lured Johnathan into a bush July 8 on the pretext of finding a ball, then stabbed the boy several times and stopped only when the paring knife became embedded in Johnathan’s eye, Prosecutor Robin Ritter said.

Sandy then allegedly cut strips of flesh and fat from Johnathan’s body, using another knife from his mother’s kitchen. The prosecutor said he later cooked the strips on a stove at home to render the fat into liquid.

The body was recovered three days later. Sandy was arrested soon after and since has been held in a youth detention center.

If convicted of first-degree murder, he faces a life sentence.