Nova Scotia mass killer’s common-law wife added to list in victims’ families class action lawsuit
Families of the victims of Canada’s worst mass shooting have added the killer’s common-law partner to the list of defendants in a lawsuit against his estate.
Lisa Banfield, along with James Banfield and Brian Brewster were added as accused on Friday to the class action suit proposed by the families of the victims, families lawyer Sandra McCulloch said in a statement on Monday.
The move comes after the three men were charged in early December with illegally transferring ammunition between March 17, 2020 and April 18, 2020. These were the first charges since the start of the investigation into the murders.
Police said based on their investigation that the three defendants had no prior knowledge of the gunman’s actions in Colchester County on April 18 and 19.
The ammunition specifically cited by the police were Remington .223 caliber cartridges and Smith & Wesson .40 caliber cartridges. RCMP investigators allege the ammunition was bought and sold in Nova Scotia.
“Based on the recent criminal charges, as well as information and evidence previously obtained on behalf of our clients, there is support for possible civil liability between these parties and the families and individuals we represent,” said McCulloch.
The class action lawsuit, which has yet to be certified, had previously named as defendants the Public Trustee – as representative of the killer’s estate – and a number of companies owned or controlled by him.
Gabriel Wortman, a 52-year-old denturist, began his murderous rampage in Portapique, Nova Scotia on the night of April 18, beginning with the assault and forcible confinement of his common-law partner.
Banfield escaped and hid in the nearby woods overnight, before
That rampage ended 13 hours later, on April 19, when police spotted and killed him at a gas station in Enfield, Nova Scotia, nearly 100 kilometers away.
In the meantime, he has killed 22 people in four different communities, slaughtered pets, torched homes and terrorized much of Colchester County in northern Nova Scotia.
For much of that time, he drove a replica RCMP car and wore a mounted police uniform.
The federal and provincial governments have launched a public inquiry to investigate the events and police response before, during and after the murders.
The three commissioners of the commission of inquiry are expected to produce an interim report by May 2022, with a final report in November of the same year.