The brother of Gabriel Wortman’s common-law spouse has pleaded not guilty to charges of providing ammunition in what led to the death of 22 people in Nova Scotia.
On Monday morning, 64-year-old James Blair Banfield entered a not guilty plea through his lawyer Michelle James. Banfield did not appear in court.
Banfield, alongside 52-year-old Lisa Diana Banfield and 60-year-old Brian Brewster, is facing a charge of providing ammunition to the Nova Scotia gunman.
He is facing one charge and is accused of providing .223 Remington calibre cartridges and .40 calibre Smith and Wesson cartridges.
Brewster is facing one charge and is accused of providing .223 Remington calibre cartridges. Lisa Banfield is accused of providing .223 Remington calibre cartridges and .40 calibre Smith and Wesson cartridges as well as providing .223 calibre Remington cartridges.
Charges relate to offences that occurred “between the 17th day of March and 18th day of April 2020, unlawfully, transferred ammunition,” according to a December 2020 statement from the RCMP.
In April of 2020, Wortman went on a 13-hour murderous rampage in rural Nova Scotia, killing 22 people and burning several homes to the ground.
According to the RCMP, an investigation concluded that Wortman’s former partner Lisa Banfield and the two men “had no prior knowledge of the gunman’s actions on April 18 and 19.”
James Banfield’s trial was scheduled for three days starting on Jan. 24, 2022, with a pre-trial scheduled for June 17, 2021, at Dartmouth Provincial Court.
— With files from Alexander Quon.