N.S. man accused of killing wife fit to stand trial
A Bridgewater judge has ruled a Nova Scotia man accused of fatally shooting his estranged wife before attempting suicide is mentally fit to stand trial.
Judge Gregory Lenehan ruled Wayne Paul Eisnor — charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Tina Mae Eisnor — has amnesia but is still fit to stand trial.
"Mr. Eisnor has lost any memory of the event with which he has been charged. However, amnesia itself is not enough to make a person unfit," Lenehan said Tuesday.
"He is not unable to communicate with counsel. Mr. Eisnor at this time is fit to stand trial."
Tina Eisnor's mother stood and cheered in the Bridgewater courtroom as the judge's decision was read.
Wayne Eisnor, of Barss Corner, is accused of shooting his estranged wife twice as she sat in her car near a grocery store in New Germany in June 2010.
He was found on the ground with a .22-calibre rifle under his body and suffered significant brain damage from a self-inflicted gunshot.
Tina Eisnor, 42, died a few hours later in hospital.
Trina Wentzell, Tina Eisnor's sister, said she's happy about the judge's decision.
"It's going to get harder, but we're going to do this as a family," she told reporters outside the courtroom.
"Every time you wake up in the morning, you're faced with it again because it's something else being brought out. But now, maybe when he's put away, we can put Tina to rest."
Wayne Eisnor was found unfit to stand trial in October 2010 because of a mental impairment caused by the gunshot wound, but the Nova Scotia Criminal Code Review Board found last year his cognitive abilities had improved enough to participate in a trial.
The defence challenged the ruling, which led to the most recent round of court proceedings.
Eisnor stood quietly in court on as Lenehan told him he would be moved from the East Coast Forensic Hospital to the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Dartmouth until his next court date.
Outside court, Devan Illingworth — son of Tina and Wayne Eisnor — said he had mixed emotions about his parents' case going to trial.
"There's no winner in this kind of game. I'm glad it's finally going to trial but I still have an attachment to Wayne. He was my father for 21 years of my life, still is," Illingworth told reporters.
"I'm still upset to have to see him and know that he's going to jail but I'm happy at the same time because my mom is finally getting the justice she deserved."
The case comes back to court on April 18, when a date is expected to be set for a preliminary inquiry.
"I still miss my mom every day," said Illingworth.