Alberta town's mayor halts move to Regina of RCMP officer's body
The mayor of a northern Alberta town has stepped into a family dispute over the remains of one of four Mounties gunned down on a farm near Mayerthorpe.
Const. Leo Johnston is buried in his hometown of Lac La Biche, and that's where his parents Grace and Ron Johnston want him to stay.
But Johnston's widow, Kelly, told her in-laws last week that she wants his remains buried at an RCMP cemetery in Regina.
Lac La Biche Mayor Thomas Lett said Tuesday the town owns the cemetery and won't allow Johnston's remains to be moved for at least two weeks.
"It gives a good cooling-down period time too so everybody can sit back, and take a breath and exactly see what's happening here," he said.
"And also what we've offered to do is mediate between the two parties to see if we can come to a reasonable solution that everyone is happy with."
Lett said he has requested documentation from the family to see who has the control over where the body should be buried.
Kelly Johnston has a permit from the province to disinter her husband's remains. A widow's wishes supersede the parents of the deceased, Service Alberta spokesman Cam Traynor told the Edmonton Sun.
On Sunday,RCMP announced charges against Shawn Hennesey and Dennis Cheeseman, brothers-in-law accused of helping gunman James Roszko ambush the Mounties in cold blood.
The pair now face four first-degree murder charges each, even though police admitted neither suspect pulled the trigger nor attended the scene of the crime in March 2005.
Shortly after killing the four constables – Johnston, Tony Gordon, Peter Schiemann and Brock Myrol– Roszko turned his gun on himself.