Man charged in Tatamagouche homicide has court matter adjourned

The Bayhead man charged with first-degree murder of a 58-year-old woman made his first court appearance Thursday through a lawyer.

Ernie “Junior” Ross Duggan, 49, is also facing a charge of attempted murder.

Lawyer Pat Atherton said Duggan is “clearly still requiring medical attention” and needed further instructions from Duggan on how to proceed.

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Crown attorney Alison Brown said Duggan still remains in hospital in Halifax, but may be released from the medical centre in the near future. Duggan was wounded during an exchange of gunfire with RCMP just before 7 a.m. Sept. 18.

Shortly before midnight on Sept. 17, Colchester District RCMP responded to a 911 call from a residence on Clarks Road, Bayhead. Upon arrival, officers discovered the female deceased at the scene. Police located a male suspect, who drove off in a vehicle. Police followed and located him near Lockerby Memorial Cemetery on Highway 6, Tatamagouche.

Officers verbally engaged with the man, when gunfire was exchanged and the suspect was wounded. He was taken to hospital for treatment where he remains in custody.

Brown said Duggan will remain in the custody of Sheriff Services upon release from the hospital. It is up to Duggan and his counsel, she said, to apply for release on bail and she wouldn’t speculate on his chance of release, saying the crown would need to review evidence and the application for release if one was made.

“We’re still at the very early stages,” Brown said, following the court appearance. “We have very little evidence that’s been disclosed thus far. The officers have been extremely busy working endlessly to try and fulfill their obligations to investigate this matter fully.”

Duggan’s next court appearance is Oct. 3 at 9:30 a.m., in Truro provincial court.

The investigation is ongoing.