Lionel Desmond inquiry to resume at new N.S. venue in February: lawyer
Shanna and Lionel Desmond hold their daughter Aaliyah in a photo from the Facebook page of Shanna Desmond. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / HO - Facebook)
HALIFAX -- A lawyer involved in an inquiry investigating why a former soldier killed his family and himself in 2017 says hearings are expected to resume at a new venue in Nova Scotia on Feb. 16.
The provincial fatality inquiry started hearing testimony in January, but it was suspended in early March, just before the COVID-19 pandemic forced a longer delay.
Adam Rodgers, who represents one of Desmond's sisters, says he received word today from the inquiry's commissioner that the proceedings will be moved from a municipal building in Guysborough, N.S., to a larger courthouse in Port Hawkesbury -- 60 kilometres to the northeast.
Last month, Rodgers and another lawyer said the inquiry was supposed to resume in September, but that date was pushed back to Nov. 16, and then delayed again until some time early next year -- more than four years after the killings shocked the province.
The inquiry was first announced in December 2017 after Desmond's twin sisters raised questions about the former infantryman's inability to get adequate treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder after he was released from the military in 2015.
On Jan. 3, 2017, the veteran of the war in Afghanistan used a semi-automatic rifle to fatally shoot his 31-year-old wife Shanna, their 10-year-old daughter Aaliyah and his mother Brenda Desmond, 52. Desmond then turned the gun on himself in the family's home in Upper Big Tracadie, N.S.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 9, 2020