Nova Scotia womans recent death the result of shooting in 1976 RCMP

first_imgHALIFAX – Deanna Conant was in her mid 30s when a gunshot wound left her disabled, forever changing her life.Four decades later, the careful work of a team of Nova Scotia pathologists showed the injury she suffered on June 23, 1976 in Lawrencetown — on the outskirts of Halifax — was also what caused her death.The Mounties confirmed Thursday that a 34-year-old man who killed himself the same day had fired the fatal shot.They declined to name the shooter or describe the circumstances, but newspaper accounts from that time identified the man as Wesley Elvin Poole, 34.The woman died on Feb. 16 of this year — 41 years later — at a Halifax nursing home. She was 77.A local city councillor, archival clippings from the daily Halifax Chronicle Herald and an obituary identify her, though police declined to provide formal confirmation.Conant’s obituary describes her as a woman “who enjoyed listening to music … and spending time with her twin grandsons.” She is survived by a son and was predeceased by her husband Russell, the obituary said.A family member was unavailable for comment.However, Nova Scotia’s chief medical examiner said the case sends an important message about the fact that there is no statute of limitations on the work his office does.Dr. Matthew Bowes said it wasn’t easy to make the final determination of the cause of death.“Scars are formed (over the injury) as the body heals itself, and I’m just left with a set of structural abnormalities in the spinal cord or the brain that are plausibly linked to the gunshot wound,” he said.The physician said the wound had a profound impact on her health.“The circumstances of her disability were well understood,” he said. “She was permanently disabled as a result of that gunshot wound.”He said his pathologists carefully studied abnormalities of the brain and spine to ensure it was the original trauma that took the woman’s life.“In general, if you suffer any kind of brain or spine injury that gives you a permanent and serious disability, that has … a number of complications you can suffer from,” he said.The veteran medical examiner said he’s never worked on a case going back so many years, aside from the case of a man with a gunshot wound to the chest that led to his death two decades after the shooting.“I thought hard about it and I think it is quite a defensible classification in my view,” he said.Bowes said the results are important because they provide family members with answers about the damage caused by an act of violence.“Uncomfortable truths are still truths and I think you’ll find more families are grateful for the truth autopsies bring to that.”—Follow (at)mtuttoncporg on Twitter.last_img

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