Judge, Crown attorney appointed to Lionel Desmond murder-suicide inquiry
A judge has been appointed to preside over an inquiry into the deaths of former soldier Lionel Desmond and his family.
The Hon. Warren K. Zimmer, a judge of Nova Scotia’s provincial court, has been selected by the province’s chief judge to oversee the inquiry.
A Crown attorney has also been appointed to the inquiry. Nova Scotia Public Prosecution has selected Allen Murray, who is the Chief Crown attorney in Antigonish, N.S.
Lionel Desmond, an Afghan war veteran, shot and killed his wife Shanna, 31, their 10-year-old daughter Aaliyah and his 52-year-old mother Brenda, before turning the gun on himself.
The family spoke out after the deaths, revealing Desmond had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and post-concussion disorder after completing two tours of Afghanistan.
The province promised a judicial fatality inquiry in December 2017, almost a year after the incident in Upper Big Tracadie, N.S.
WATCH: N.S. to launch inquiry into former soldier Lionel Desmond’s triple murder-suicide
The inquiry will examine whether Desmond had access to appropriate mental health services and whether his family had access to domestic violence intervention services.
In the terms of reference, the province says the inquiry’s report should include the circumstances surrounding Desmond’s release from St. Martha’s Hospital the day before the triple murder-suicide.
Court proceedings will be held in Guysborough County, but a date has not yet been set.
Preparations are underway now and it is expected to begin later this year.
With files from The Canadian Press and Rebecca Lau.
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