April 21, 2017 8:26 am
Updated: April 21, 2017 1:57 pm

Wettlaufer makes second in-person court appearance, no trial date set yet

Elizabeth Wettlaufer is escorted from the courthouse in Woodstock, Ont., on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dave Chidley
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A trial date has not yet been set for 49-year-old Elizabeth Wettlaufer, who made her second in-person appearance in a Woodstock courtroom Friday morning.

The former nurse, accused of first-degree murder in the deaths of eight long-term care patients, was led into court with shackles on her ankles and wrists, past family members of the alleged victims.

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“She’s got her hair done, she’s all prettied up, must be nice,” said Andrea Silcox, daughter of alleged victim James Silcox. “I thought, ‘how dare you walk in here so smug after supposedly murdering my father and other people too, and walk in here looking so wonderful and that you have no problems in life.'”

READ MORE: Elizabeth Wettlaufer, Ontario nurse charged in seniors’ deaths, to go straight to trial

Justice Bruce Thomas told a full courtroom there are several counts to go over, and significant evidence that needs to be discussed during the judicial pretrial before a trial date can be set. Wettlaufer is scheduled to appear in court again via videolink on May 12.

“She spent most of the proceedings actually staring at us,” said Laura Jackson, a relative of alleged victim Maurice Granat. “Like making eye contact with almost everybody that was sitting in the family section. So there was a number of us who actually just stared back.”

“It’s almost like she’s smug. Like she had a really smug look on her face, like she doesn’t care. And that’s why — and I’ve said this from the beginning — it’s not important to say her name. It’s important to say our family member’s name,” explained Jackson.

Outside the courthouse, Silcox showed media a bracelet she’d found that belonged to her father.

“That’s his name on there,” she said, holding it up and turning it over. “It’s got the family on the back, and that’s why families have to stick together. We’ll get through this horrible ordeal, and hopefully get through it a little bit quicker than people are saying.”

Arpad Horvath, the son of one of the alleged victims with the same name, noted that Wettlaufer seemed more at ease inside the courthouse.

“I don’t understand why somebody does things like this, and why somebody can not show an ounce of compassion,” he said. “Eight human lives. Eight.”

In addition to eight counts of first-degree murder, Wettlaufer has also been charged with four counts of attempted murder and two counts aggravated assault.

Documents show Wettlaufer had been suspended from a nursing home several times for medication-related errors before she was fired for giving a patient the wrong drugs.

READ MORE: Elizabeth Wettlaufer, charged in deaths of 8 seniors, once fired over medication errors: documents

In a letter of termination from the Caressant Care nursing home in Woodstock, the nursing home says the alleged incident was part of a “pattern of behaviours that are placing residents at risk.”

Wettlaufer was first registered as a nurse in 1995. The incidents are said to have occurred between 2007 and 2016.

 

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