Wettlauffer To Appear In Court In PersonJanuary 6, 2017 11:00am
Family and friends of eight long-term care home residents allegedly killed by a former nurse will only have to wait one week to see the accused face-to-face.
Elizabeth Wettlaufer, 49, will appear in person in Woodstock court January 13. It will be the first time Wettlaufer has appeared in person since her arrest on October 25.
The decision was made during a minute-long court appearance on Friday, in which Wettlaufer appeared by video link from the Vanier Centre for Women in Milton. Wettlaufer spoke briefly by phone with her lawyer Brad Burgess, who then asked for his client to appear in person at the next hearing.
Andrea Silcox and Susan Horvath, the daughters of two of Wettlaufer’s alleged victims, believe the in-person appearance may mean the wheels of justice are about to speed up.
“It almost feels like progress,” said Silcox, whose father James Silcox died at Caressant Care in Woodstock in August 2007. “It’s not going to change anything but for her to show up in person already, what’s up with that? I would have thought her counsel would have spoken to her in person where she is and for her to come here, maybe they have something to say that we are all looking forward to.”
Silcox said she is optimistic about what will happen next.
“For her to show up already, maybe they are going to cut to the chase and say ‘you know what, lets not take the whole world through this for years to come,'” said Silcox.
Susan Horvath, whose father Arpad Horvath died at Meadow Park nursing home in London in August 2014, expressed mixed emotions about Wettlaufer’s next appearance.
“I’m nervous about the whole thing. As soon as I see her on the screen, I start to cry because I think of my father’s face and I’m not handling it very well, I’m not strong,” said Horvath. “The whole entire Christmas holiday it was very difficult for me because I was waiting for this day, hoping we would have a little bright light somewhere and we do have a little bright light and that bright light is that she is going to be here.. Maybe the next step now will be a decision so we can close the door on this matter because we are going through a funeral every time we show up here.”
Horvath said she has been in contact with a seniors advocacy group in Toronto pushing for a coroner’s inquest into the nursing home deaths.
“Why they are not being done on seniors so they can actually track the deaths and see what type of deaths are occuring with these seniors,” said Horvath. “After this court case is done, the nursing homes will be on the hook for some answers and so will the coroner.”
Wettlaufer is charged with eight counts of first degree murder in the deaths of seven residents of Caressant Care in Woodstock and one resident of Meadow Park nursing home in London. The eight residents ranged in age from 75-96 and died between 2007-2014.