Nova Scotia

N.S. teacher's husband charged with murder

Police in Halifax have charged Jason Wayne MacRae with first-degree murder in the 2005 killing of his wife, Paula Gallant, who was a Grade 3 teacher.

Jason MacRae faces 1st-degree count in 2005 killing of Paula Gallant

Police in Halifax have charged Jason Wayne MacRae with first-degree murder in the 2005 killing of his wife, Paula Gallant, who was a Grade 3 teacher.

MacRae, 37, was arraigned on the charge in Halifax provincial court Wednesday morning. He will be back in court on Sept. 17.

Gallant was found dead in the trunk of her car in the parking lot of her school in late December 2005. The 36-year-old was a teacher at Beechville-Lakeside-Timberlea Elementary School.

Police said at a news conference that they received some new information in the case in the spring of 2009. They would not say what the new evidence was that led to them to arrest and charge MacRae.

"New evidence came to light which allowed us to pursue it in a different way," Halifax police Chief Frank Beazley told a news conference Wednesday.

Asked why it took so long for the new evidence to lead to a charge, Beazley said: "You have to do the investigation; the new information wasn't going to put somebody before the court. So we had to build an investigative approach to get the necessary information to put the person before the court."

In a news release, Gallant's family thanked police for "their commitment to this investigation."

"As we think of Paula today, Anna, Paula's daughter, is especially in our hearts and prayers," the release said. "The family would also like to extend their prayers to the MacRae family.

"The family realizes this is the beginning of the legal process and asks that their privacy be respected."

Anna, now five years old, has been living with MacRae since Gallant's death.

RCMP Supt. Darrell Beaton said police moved to take care of the girl's welfare.

"Obviously, we're very much aware that the child is a factor in this investigation in what is going to occur and that has been addressed," he said. "The investigative team has a family liaison that is working through those issues and that has been fully addressed. We have no concerns about the well-being and the welfare of the child."

Gallant was reported missing at about 10 p.m. on Dec. 27, 2005, after she failed to return home from a shopping trip to Bayers Lake Business Park.

Her body was found at about 12:30 a.m. on Dec. 28. Police said the death was a homicide. Her last known conversation was with her sister at about 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 27.

Gallant, a native of Glace Bay, N.S., died a week before the first birthday of the couple's daughter.

A memorial website describes Gallant as a "beautiful friend and teacher, as well as a gifted artist who lived every day to the fullest."

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