Nurse to make ap­pear­ance

The Observer (Sarnia) - - NEWS - JANE SIMS

For­mer nurse El­iz­a­beth Wet­t­laufer is about to make her sec­ond trip back to Wood­stock since she was charged with mul­ti­ple mur­ders.

Wet­t­laufer, 49, is ex­pected to be in a Wood­stock court­room Fri­day, trans­ported in from Mil­ton’s Vanier Cen­tre for Women where she’s been housed since her ar­rest.

Fri­day’s court ap­pear­ance could prove to be a turn­ing point.

Though this could po­ten­tially be­come one of the big­gest mass mur­der cases in the coun­try’s his­tory, it has been mov­ing through the courts at a rel­a­tively speedy pace.

Wet­t­laufer was charged six months ago with the deaths of eight el­derly long-term care pa­tients, most from Ca­res­sant Care in Wood­stock and one from Meadow Park LongTerm Care in Lon­don over a sev­enyear pe­riod. Their deaths were said to be by the ad­min­is­tra­tion of a drug, sus­pected now to be in­sulin, al­though the po­lice haven’t con­firmed it.

By the end of Jan­u­ary, there were six more charges — four of at­tempted mur­der and two of ag­gra­vated as­sault — also in­volv­ing long-term care pa­tients.

A sealed search war­rant has been opened by the court at the re­quest of The Free Press, giv­ing insights into the thor­ough­ness of the po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion and Wet­t­laufer’s ac­tiv­i­ties be­fore her ar­rest.

The pic­ture painted was that of a men­tally un­sta­ble ad­dict with a poor job per­for­mance that in­cluded a fir­ing from the Wood­stock fa­cil­ity for med­i­ca­tion in­frac­tions, in­clud­ing some with in­sulin.

Wet­t­laufer could be com­ing into Wood­stock as an in-per­son for­mal­ity to start the jour­ney through the Su­pe­rior Court. There was no in­di­ca­tion at the last court ap­pear­ance that her first visit to the higher level of court could be done by video.

Her de­fence lawyer, Brad Burgess, in­di­cated at the last court ap­pear­ance that she could be set­ting a trial date. Though un­com­mon, there have been sit­u­a­tions when cases have by­passed the pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing stage for a trial, such as a re­cent Lon­don bank rob­bery case that in­volved five ac­cused men.

The other pos­si­bil­ity could ramp up the case even faster.

There are cases when pre­lim­i­nary hear­ings are waived to al­low an ac­cused to plead guilty.


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