Angry husband of murdered woman questions testimony during N.S. mass shooting hearing

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TRURO, N.S. – The Mountie accountable for sharing data with households within the Nova Scotia mass shooting confronted offended accusations from the husband of a sufferer right now, forcing a short adjournment of the general public inquiry into the killings.

During cross-examination of Const. Wayne (Skipper) Bent, Nick Beaton, the partner of a pregnant woman killed on April 19, 2020, shouted on the officer as he was testifying about why Kristen Beaton’s cellphone couldn’t be returned 10 days after her homicide.

Michael Scott, a lawyer for almost all of the 22 victims’ households, was asking Bent whether or not he recalled telling Beaton the RCMP needed to look at his spouse’s cellphone to rule out any prior relationship she might need had with the killer.

Bent testified he couldn’t recall saying this, and when additional questioned, stated, “We would have told him (Beaton) ‘We were looking at everything.’ At that point in time, what was the relationship as to why (the killer) was and wasn’t looking at certain people? … We have to look at everything out there that’s a possibility.”

Beaton — who was attending the hearings in a Truro resort — turned distraught over Bent’s reply and shouted, “I heard you say that to me …. You’re under oath.”

Commission chairman Michael MacDonald first requested Beaton to take a seat down, after which added, “That’s enough,” as others attending began to shout and criticize the proceedings. The chairman then ordered a break.

When Bent returned, he clarified that whereas he could have informed Beaton that investigators needed to rule out any prior relationship, he didn’t imply to counsel any intimate relationship had existed.

During morning testimony, Bent spoke of how there was no coverage handbook to observe on learn how to take care of grieving households. He additionally stated he had no formal coaching on this space earlier than being appointed because the liaison officer however he did his finest to assist.

A abstract of proof launched by the general public inquiry famous that Bent contacted a neighborhood cleansing and restoration firm to wash the residence of Greg and Jamie Blair, who had been murdered in Portapique, N.S., after the crime scene was launched on May 4, 2020.

It additionally says the constable labored alongside an exhibit custodian to wash the blood from the {couples}’ jewellery earlier than returning it to their household.

According to the abstract, Bent additionally contacted Nick Beaton’s automobile insurance coverage firm in April 2020 to lift issues concerning the agency promoting the automobile Krista Beaton was murdered in at public public sale. He acquired assurances it will be bought out of province.

Still, as time handed, some members of the family grew distrustful of the RCMP and its reluctance to share data, in keeping with the abstract launched on Tuesday.

The doc says that on June 26, 2020, Beaton attended a gathering on the detachment in Bible Hill for an replace from the Mounties and “stated the meeting was unprofessional and he wished that he had brought his lawyer with him.”

The daughter and son-in-law of Gina Goulet — who was killed close to Shubenacadie, N.S., on April 19 — are quoted as saying “it was frustrating and upsetting,” to discover a bullet in Goulet’s residence on May 23, 2020, and the missed proof, “made them lose their trust in the police.”

Ryan and Jon Farrington, the sons of Dawn and Frank Gulenchyn — murdered on April 18 — informed the inquiry that during a July 6, 2020 assembly with investigators they “did not receive the answers they were looking for.”

During his testimony, Bent defended having only one officer to behave because the RCMP go-between for the 22 households within the months after the killings.

“To me it was very important the same message would go out to everybody,” he testified. “I’m no expert in this. I learned as I went along. To me it just seemed reasonable to have it done that way.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first printed June 21, 2022.

— By Michael Tutton in Halifax


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