Nova Scotia

University professor's murder case delayed

A former St. Francis Xavier University instructor charged with first-degree murder made a court appearance on Wednesday, where the case was delayed until June.

A former St. Francis Xavier University instructor charged with first-degree murder made a court appearance on Wednesday, where the case was delayed until June.

Patrick Chareka, 47, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Ottilia Chareka, an assistant professor at the Nova Scotia university.

While Wednesday's court appearance was to set a date for a preliminary hearing, defence lawyer Gerald MacDonald asked for a delay to wait for the results of psychological testing to determine his client's mental state.

MacDonald said he is also waiting for more evidence from the Crown, but told the court that some of what he has already received is "overwhelming."

"There are some things written by one of the parties involved," MacDonald said outside Antigonish provincial court. "We didn't get those materials yet so we want to take a look at it and see how much premeditation may or not have been involved. There have been statements given by persons who were in the house who confirmed that Mr. Chareka was involved in the death of his wife. I really can't say a whole lot more."

Chareka will be back in court on June 7 and at that time it will be determined if a preliminary hearing is needed.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, RCMP said autopsy results showed Ottilia Chareka, 42, died from blunt force trauma.

Sgt. Brigdit Leger said a weapon was seized in the investigation, but would not say what kind of weapon was found.

Chareka was found in her home on March 16 after the Mounties responded to a 911 call about a disturbance. She died later in hospital.

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