A Cranbrook judge has acquitted a woman charged with counselling her husband to commit suicide stemming from an incident last year.
Judge Ron Webb acquitted Terri Reimer on charges of aiding/abetting a person to commit suicide and counselling a person to commit suicide that resulted from a marital dispute with her husband, Bill Reimer, on March 22, 2016.
According to testimony during a two-day trial, Bill had attempted suicide while Terri was outside of the house by ingesting a large amount of her prescription pills.
When Terri returned and noticed her missing pills, she angrily lashed out Bill, telling him that if he wanted to kill himself, he should just do it and don’t be a coward, offering to get a gun if the pills didn’t work.
Her remarks were overheard by Bill’s sister, Rhonda, who was speaking to him over her cell phone. Rhonda, a retired RCMP officer, stayed on the line with Bill and used a landline to call 911.
When RCMP arrived, a loaded lever-action rifle was seized, which Terri said she took from Bill after he had it on his lap. Terri testified she did not give Bill the gun; Bill testified he couldn’t remember retrieving the firearm.
Both Bill and Terri testified that they were angry with each other that night; Terri was upset that Bill had ingested her pills and angry about an intimate photo that had been posted to social media. Bill was upset over infidelity in the relationship.
“We must look at the words in the context of which they were used,” said Webb.
Before the trial began, the Crown asked for the judge to acquit Reimer on the first count — Administer noxious thing with intent to endanger — due to a lack of evidence that could confirm exact pills were ingested by Bill.
Crown counsel’s case relied heavily on Rhonda Reimer’s testimony about the comments she overheard over the phone when Bill and Terri were arguing. Crown also picked apart Terri’s testimony in cross-examination, focusing on inconsistencies in the evidence.
The defence’s case relied solely on Terri’s testimony about the events that occurred that evening, as well as the trouble she was having with her relationship with Bill. and the attempts that were made to reconcile their marriage