University prof's husband charged in her death

Former St. Francis Xavier instructor Patrick Chareka has been formally charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, an assistant professor at the Nova Scotia university.

Patrick Chareka also taught at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S.

A former St. Francis Xavier instructor was formally charged Thursday with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, an assistant professor at the Nova Scotia university. 

Patrick Chareka, 47, appeared in provincial court in Antigonish, surrounded by five police officers and a sheriff.

Police say Ottilia Chareka, 42, died from injuries sustained in the family home Wednesday morning.

RCMP found her with life-threatening injuries after responding to a 911 call about a disturbance at 27 Centennial Dr. She died two hours later at St. Martha's Regional Hospital.

Patrick Chareka was arrested at the scene.

The eldest daughter of the couple, who have five children, including four still living at home, was in court Thursday after returning from Alberta.

The same day the murder charge was laid, the university's president, Sean Riley, said the university community is feeling the effects of the death of Chareka,  an assistant professor of education who specialized in multicultural education, human rights and citizenship education..

She was "a very very active person, much loved, and she essentially has been taken from us in tragic, tragic circumstances that are hard to absorb," Riley said.

Patrick Chareka taught statistics a few years ago at the university, but he's no longer listed on the university's website.

The judge imposed several conditions on Patrick Chareka, but a publication ban prevents any details from being released.

The Crown said the couple's eldest daughter is helping care for her siblings, along with help from family friends.

Another family friend said the community has lost a person who fought for justice for all, and she will be greatly missed.

Chareka elected trial by judge and jury.

He remains in custody and returns to court on March 30, when a date for a preliminary hearing is expected to be set.