‘ That didn’t need to hap­pen’

Eska­soni mur­der ac­cused makes court ap­pear­ance Mon­day via video link

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY NANCY KING

An Eska­soni man charged with sec­ond-de­gree mur­der told a Syd­ney court dur­ing an ap­pear­ance via video link Mon­day that he hadn’t meant to com­mit mur­der.

Al­bert Michael Bernard, 36, wear­ing an or­ange jump­suit, also said that he didn’t want bail but didn’t want to be re­manded to the Cape Bre­ton Cor­rec­tional Cen­tre. In­stead, he wanted to be sent to a Hal­i­fax hos­pi­tal.

“I don’t feel right be­cause of what hap­pened,” Bernard said, adding that he is not crazy.

“I didn’t mean to do it ... That didn’t need to hap­pen.”

He was cau­tioned about his out­burst by his duty coun­sel. Judge Peter Ross or­dered Bernard to next ap­pear in court Aug. 4 and re­manded him back into cus­tody un­til that time. He was also or­dered by the court to not have any con­tact with six in­di­vid­u­als. Bernard is charged in the death early Satur­day morn­ing of Dale Frank Dennis, 36, also of Eska­soni. A large con­tin­gent of res­i­dents of the First Na­tions com­mu­nity were on hand for Bernard’s ar­raign­ment Mon­day.

RCMP said a se­ri­ous as­sault took place at the top of Spencer’s Lane in the First Na­tion com­mu­nity af­ter 1 a.m. on Satur­day morn­ing.

Dennis, who was not ini­tially iden­ti­fied by RCMP as the vic­tim, was be­ing trans­ported by EHS when he died from his in­juries on the way to hos­pi­tal.

The sus­pect fled the scene on foot and was ar­rested in Eska­soni be­tween 8-9 a.m. on Satur­day with­out in­ci­dent.

Crown at­tor­ney Sheldon Nathanson said the Crown hasn’t yet re­ceived any ap­pli­ca­tion for an as­sess­ment to de­ter­mine fit­ness or crim­i­nal re­spon­si­bil­ity.

If Bernard does de­cide to seek bail, that ap­pli­ca­tion will have to be made in the Nova Sco­tia Supreme Court.

RCMP say the two men were known to each other and that the in­ci­dent was not a ran­dom act.

They did not in­di­cate whether a weapon was in­volved or if the vic­tim and the ac­cused had been to­gether prior to the as­sault.

Peggy Dennis de­scribed her younger brother as a good man, not­ing he leaves be­hind nine daugh­ters. It’s a dif­fi­cult time for the Dennis fam­ily, a large clan with a to­tal of 24 fam­ily mem­bers raised by Peggy Dennis’ mother. In­clud­ing Dale, three sib­lings have died in the past month. While Dale was ac­tu­ally Peggy’s nephew, he was raised as her brother.

She said Dennis and Bernard grew up to­gether and were once close friends, but there had been bad blood brew­ing be­tween them for about the past six months, fed by ru­mours in the com­mu­nity, and she had feared her brother could be harmed.

Eska­soni RCMP were as­sisted by the North­east Nova Ma­jor Crimes unit in the on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTOS

Peggy Dennis, left, de­scribed her brother, Dale Frank Dennis, right, killed in an al­ter­ca­tion in Eska­soni early Satur­day morn­ing, as a good man but said there had been bad blood brew­ing be­tween him and Al­bert Michael Bernard, who is fac­ing a sec­ond-de­gree mur­der charge from the in­ci­dent.

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