Nfld. & Labrador

2nd-degree murder charge laid in death of Regula Schule

Jonathan Henoche, 30, has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with Regula Schule's death. He appeared in court Wednesday afternoon.

Jonathan Henoche, 30, also charged with arson, break and enter in separate incident

Regula Schule, pictured here with her daughter Susie, was killed in a house fire. On Wednesday, Jonathon Henoche was charged with second-degree murder. (John Gaudi/CBC)

A Labrador man has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Regula Schule, 88.

Schule, who was a celebrated volunteer in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, died after she was found unresponsive in her home during a fire on July 24.

Jonathan Henoche, 30, has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with Schule's death.

He's also facing charges in relation to another house fire in the community. Police allege Henoche burned down the home of John Neville, a housing support worker he knew, in May.

Henoche is facing charges of arson, break and enter and breach of probation in that incident.

He appeared in provincial court in Happy Valley-Goose Bay Wednesday afternoon, and was remanded into custody. He will appear in court again on Oct. 24.

After moving to Labrador as Moravian missionary in the 1960s, Schule worked as a teacher. Not long after she began, she adopted one of her students, Susie.

Schule was a weekly visitor to the inmates in the Labrador Correctional Centre and following her death, "her boys" built her casket.

"Regula ministered to everyone, every day of her life," Johannes Lampe, president of Nunatsiavut, told CBC after she died.

Lampe met Schule 20 years ago when he first got involved in the Moravian Church.

"She looked to all those who had no one to help them … she took care of everyone."

Friend wanted answers

Late in August, a friend of Regula Schule complained that RCMP in Labrador weren't providing any information on the investigation.

Linda Saunders-McLean told CBC News she believed Schule had been murdered, but police hadn't said they were investigating her death as a homicide.

Saunders-McLean claimed Schule's daughter, Susie, saw Schule the night she died on a bloody floor in Schule's room. 

She said police needed to do a better job informing the public, because there were other vulnerable people in the community who were worried.

Cpl. Trevor O'Keefe, a spokesperson for the RMCP, said a charge was laid as soon as police had enough evidence to suggest Schule's death was, in fact, a homicide.

"With an investigation that's this complex, it takes time," he said, adding police felt there was no concern for public safety.

Linda Saunders-McLean says police haven't done enough to reassure Happy Valley-Goose Bay residents after a late July fire in which her friend Regina Schule was killed. (John Gaudi/CBC)

With files from Jacob Barker