The Lake Nation man accused of murdering his spouse inherited all the pieces that she owned, and her mom has now launched a lawsuit looking for justice.
Arlene Westervelt was canoeing together with her husband Bert Westervelt when their canoe tipped and she or he died.
Her household referred to as foul play on the time.
After a virtually three-year investigation, Bert was charged together with her homicide, however then the Crown abruptly stayed these fees with out rationalization final summer season.
Arlene’s mom Jean Hennig has now filed a civil swimsuit in opposition to Bert looking for a declaration that he killed his spouse and asking for Arlene’s property to be returned to her household.
“That is mainly an property litigation case the place we’re alleging that Mr. Westervelt wrongly inherited a bunch of property due to an illegal or dishonourable act,” civil lawyer Scott Stanley mentioned.
“Some folks consult with it because the slayer rule, that’s clearly very graphic. However there’s mainly a regulation of fairness that claims you possibly can’t revenue from a misdeed,” he added.
The civil swimsuit alleges that Arlene and Bert had been heading for divorce after practically 30 years of marriage.
It goes on to say that Bert killed his spouse so he might inherit Arlene’s property earlier than she was in a position to go away him and take her share.
Stanley mentioned pursuing a civil case is a method for the household to get justice for Arlene.
“My expertise with people on this scenario is admittedly what they need is justice. They need one thing that the prison continuing, or the shortage of the prison continuing, failed to offer them,” Stanley mentioned.
In Canada, prison circumstances should be confirmed past an affordable doubt, whereas civil circumstances are judged on a steadiness of chances, which is a a lot decrease bar.
In a civil case, Bert should reply questions below oath, Stanley mentioned.
“And naturally you will have entry to issues like discovery and disclosure from Mr. Westervelt that the Crown doesn’t have. He’s not obligated to incriminate himself in a prison continuing, whereas in a civil continuing, he’ll must make disclosure,” Stanley mentioned.
The household is hopeful that the prison case in opposition to Bert will nonetheless proceed.
If it does, proof obtained by means of the lawsuit can’t essentially be shared with the Crown, which is in command of the prison case, Stanley mentioned.
“If we had been to get documentation from Mr. Westervelt, or we take his discovery proof below oath, that’s not proof that may very well be shared,” Stanley mentioned.
“There are guidelines that prohibit that, however it definitely may provoke the Crown to do their very own additional investigation,” he added.
Stanley mentioned he plans to attempt to get entry to the hundreds of pages of paperwork which are accessible within the prison case.
“The household hopes that these supplies ultimately will probably be made accessible to us. We’ll get hold of a court docket order for it and ensure it has been disclosed correctly,” he mentioned.
Bert Westervelt didn’t reply to a request for touch upon the civil case, however his prison lawyer has beforehand mentioned that he maintains his innocence.
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Not one of the allegations in opposition to him have been confirmed in court docket.
The household of Arlene remains to be searching for ideas and leads on their Justice for Arlene Fb web page.
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