N.S. mass shooter’s spouse pleads not guilty to unlawfully supplying him ammunition

By Canadian Press

HALIFAX — The common law spouse of the man responsible for killing 22 people in April 2020 in Nova Scotia is pleading not guilty to charges she illegally provided him ammunition.

Lisa Banfield, 52, is facing two counts of unlawfully providing the shooter with ammunition in the month leading up to the mass killings. 

Defence lawyer Jessica Zita entered the not guilty plea on Banfield's behalf by telephone today before a Dartmouth, N.S., provincial court judge.

Judge Theodore Tax today set dates in late March and early April 2022 for a five-day, judge-only trial, and dates this summer for pre-trial conferences.

The original plea hearing was adjourned in March after it was determined the defence's request for a private meeting with the judge and Crown before a plea wasn't appropriate.

The RCMP have said Banfield and two others facing charges “had no prior knowledge of the gunman's actions.''

The case is proceeding summarily, meaning a judge alone is presiding over the matter, potential fines are less than $5,000 and potential jail terms don't exceed two years less a day.

Banfield's brother, James Blair Banfield, 54, of Beaver Bank, N.S., and her brother-in-law, Brian Brewster, 61, of Lucasville, N.S., have also been accused of unlawfully providing the shooter, Gabriel Wortman, with .223-calibre Remington cartridges and .40-calibre Smith & Wesson cartridges prior to the shootings that started in Portapique, N.S.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 5, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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