News / Halifax

No charges after homicide in Dartmouth continuing care facility

Halifax Regional Police say an 86-year-old woman died after an altercation with a 77-year-old woman.

A Halifax Regional Police cruiser.

Jeff Harper/Metro / Halifax Staff

A Halifax Regional Police cruiser.

A death at a continuing care facility in Dartmouth last year has been declared a homicide, but police say no charges are being laid.

A news release from Halifax Regional Police on Thursday said the Medical Examiner’s Office called them to Oakwood Terrance, a continuing care facility on Mount Hope Avenue in Dartmouth on Sep. 4.

An 86-year-old woman died on Sep. 3 “following complications sustained as a result of an injury during an altercation” with a 77-year-old woman at the home in June.

The Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the woman’s death a homicide after conducting an autopsy on Sep. 5.

Police said they’ve finished their investigation and determined charges won’t be laid “based on the suspect not being criminally culpable due to her cognitive impairment.”

Police spokesperson Const. Carol McIsaac explained that in order to lay charges, prosecutors have to prove that the accused not only killed the victim, but that they meant to.

“And based on her cognitive awareness and cognitive abilities, they determined that she wouldn’t have had the intention of causing harm to the person who passed away,” McIsaac said in an interview.

This is the first time the public has been told about the homicide, which McIsaac said was a decision made by the investigators.

“They knew the people who were involved, all the stakeholders were aware, the home and the family members, and the decision was made that they were not going to do a (news) release,” she said.

McIsaac said she doesn’t know of any other homicides last year that the public hasn’t been told about.

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