A Cape Breton man was arraigned in an unusual case in a Sydney court Tuesday, charged with manslaughter after a man he shot in 2005 died seven years later.
The lawyer for Nelson MacPhee is vowing to fight this new charge, arguing it's a violation of his client's rights given he was already convicted of aggravated assault when the victim was still alive.
MacPhee shot two brothers, Kenneth Seymour, 39, and Donald Seymour, 38, at their Glace Bay home in December 2005. Kenneth died hours later in hospital; Donald was badly hurt and subsequently used a cane to get around.
MacPhee pleaded guilty two years later to manslaughter in Kenneth’s death, and aggravated assault in Donald’s shooting. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Donald, however, died in 2012. Police have now charged MacPhee with manslaughter, with a Crown prosecutor alleging Donald died from complications related to the shooting.
MacPhee's lawyer, Nash Brogan, said Tuesday the new charge violates his client's right to life, liberty and security under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
"So basically, our position is this is an abuse of process," Brogan said. "We don't know why the Crown is proceeding, we don't know what public interest there is in proceeding when a man is basically on parole and the whole situation is being relived."
MacPhee is still behind bars, but he could be eligible for parole as early as the fall and will be eligible for statutory release in two years.
He was sentenced for the shootings in April 2007. At the time, his lawyer said MacPhee was high on pills and cocaine and there was no apparent motive.
Donald Seymour was in the courtroom during that sentencing hearing. He began yelling threats and obscenities at MacPhee and was hustled out of the courtroom by relatives and sheriff's deputies.