Nfld. & Labrador

2 families 'torn apart,' say relatives of alleged murder victim David Collins

Relatives of David Collins, a pharmacist who police say was murdered in December, say there will be 'no positive outcome' for all involved.

Graham Veitch, charged with 1st-degree murder, expressionless during court appearance

Graham Veitch appears in a St. John's court Wednesday morning. He's accused of murdering David Collins, 55, in Dec. 2016. (Terry Roberts/CBC)

The sister of David Collins, a well-known pharmacist who police say was murdered in December, predicts "no positive outcome" for all involved, including the accused, Graham Veitch.

"Very upsetting. It's very difficult. Two families that have been torn apart," Cathy Collins said Wednesday outside provincial court in St. John's.

Veitch, 19, is charged with first-degree murder and other offences in relation to Collins's death.

He has made multiple court appearances since his dramatic arrest, and was found fit to stand trial in January following an extended psychiatric evaluation.

No signs of emotion, awareness

But Veitch's behaviour during these appearances has raised questions about his well-being, and Wednesday was no different.

Walking slowly into court in shackles, wearing a blue sweatshirt and orange shorts, Veitch seemed vacant, showing no signs of emotion or even awareness.

His sobbing mother — who was in a relationship with Collins and living with him at the time of his death — briefly left the courtroom after her son entered, but returned more composed a few minutes later.

Cathy Collins (centre) speaks outside provincial court in St. John's Wednesday morning about the murder of her brother, David Collins. She is flanked by her brother, Tony Colllins, and sister Joan Francis. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

There's talk around the courtroom that lawyers may have reached some kind of agreement about how to proceed, but that never happened Wednesday.

The matter was quickly set over until Friday morning because of what one lawyer referred to as "new information" in the case.

Collins 'a great guy,' says sister

Collins, 55, died following an incident at a home on Cadigan's Road in Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove on December 18, 2016.

He was living in the house with Graham Veitch's mother at the time.

"It's been a huge loss for us," Cathy Collins said of her brother's death, adding that her family is hoping for justice and "to uphold our brother's memory the best way we can."

In addition to murder, Veitch is also charged with assaulting his mother and brother with a hammer, assaulting a police officer, stealing a vehicle and evading police.

Police found Veitch four hours after emergency responders arrived at the home, and officers said he rammed an RNC vehicle on a chase through Portugal Cove-St. Philip's.

Collins was originally from Placentia, and was part of a very large family. 

"He was a great guy. He's a funny guy. Gentle. Certainly this was unexpected and very sudden," said Cathy Collins.