The sister of 57-year-old Gary Pfinder said at a Dartmouth courtroom yesterday she was not looking forward to seeing the woman accused in her brother’s death while driving under the influence.
“I was kind of glad she wasn’t here,” said Iris Black, adding she doesn’t know how she will react to seeing Beverlee Russell, 54, of Cole Harbour.
Russell faces multiple charges, including manslaughter, stemming from two separate accidents on Aug. 3 in Cole Harbour. She is alleged to have left the scene of one collision before causing another, a multi-vehicle crash at the intersection of Cole Harbour Road and Forest Hill Parkway.
It was the second collision that took the life of Pfinder, a retired French teacher from Dartmouth High School. Police allege alcohol was a factor in both accidents.
The case was back before the court yesterday for election and plea, but Russell did not appear. Her lawyer Pat Atherton represented her and asked for an extension until Dec. 23 to review disclosure.
Russell has appeared in court twice before: on Aug. 11, a judge ordered her to undergo a psychiatric assessment to determine if she is mentally fit to stand trial.
It was determined she was mentally fit to stand trial about a month later. She will appear again on Dec. 23 to enter a plea. In the meantime, she has been released on recognizance with conditions.
Albert Dorey, a long-time friend of Pfinder, was also on hand at yesterday’s hearing. He said he was there to show support for Pfinder and his family, “and to see that justice is served.”
Dorey said he wants Pfinder to be remembered “as a person who believed in life, who enjoyed life, who was a great educator and was at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
“He’s gone. And that’s unfortunate,” he added.