in-nb-special-care-home-220

Patricia and Karen Pitre operated the Pitre Special Care Home near Bathurst. ((CBC))

The owners of a special care home in northern New Brunswick have pleaded not guilty to charges related to the death of one of their residents.

Patricia Pitre, 59, and her daughter Karen Pitre, 38, of Pabineau Falls have been charged with negligence causing death and failing to provide the necessities of life.

The two women were not in court on Monday morning.

Luc Roy, the lawyer for the two women, entered a not-guilty plea for both of them and elected for a trial by judge alone.

The two women are charged in connection with the death of Joseph Harvey Henry, who died at the Chaleur Regional Hospital in Bathurst Nov. 3.

The women operated the Pitre Special Care Home near Bathurst.

The other patients of the privately-run special care home were removed a few days after Harvey's death.

Roy said his clients are anxious for the trial to begin to clear their names.

"My clients are looking forward to telling their side of the story. Obviously they do not agree with the charge. And they do not agree with what the Crown is saying right now," Roy said.

The Crown has called on 20 witnesses to testify at the trial.

The large number of witnesses means the trial's start date has been pushed back until February 2012.

Several of the witnesses are from the medical community and could take a few days to testify.