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The grandmother of the man charged in Cassidy Bernard’s death wants her mother to know that she’s sorry.
“Mona Bernard is a wonderful person and her daughter was a beautiful, sweet young woman,” said Patsy MacKay.
“We all miss Cassidy too and we want Mona, her family and their community, to get the justice they deserve.”
MacKay spoke just hours after the RCMP announced that her grandson, Dwight Austin Isadore, had been charged with second-degree murder in Cassidy Bernard’s death almost 14 months ago. Isadore, Bernard’s former boyfriend, is also charged with two counts of unlawful abandonment for allegedly leaving their twin infant daughters alone with Bernard at her mother’s home in We’koqma’q.
The family and many in We’koqma’q have long maintained that Bernard was murdered and zeroed in on Isadore as the prime suspect. The band took the step of banning Isadore from the community in September. Chief Rod Googoo said at the time Isadore had been visiting and were concerned for their safety. He lived in Wagmatcook, a neighbouring Mi’kmaq community located about 30 kilometres away.
His grandmother, who also lives in Wagmatcook, said she was informed of the charges by RCMP investigators on Monday.
“They told me yesterday that they have an abundance of evidence, that they’re 100-per-cent sure it was Austin,” said MacKay.
“We have to accept that.”
Bernard said she has grieved for Bernard and her two motherless great-grandchildren. So has her daughter Charlene, Isadore’s mom.
“Charlene is so heartbroken by all of it, and she has been crying all day,” said MacKay. “She wants Mona to know that she’s very sorry for what happened to Cass. She hopes God will bless them and that Cass and her babies will get justice.”
The pair has been the subject of relentless harassment from people close to Cassidy, said MacKay.
She’s pleading for it to stop.
“People think Charlene and I are murderers,” said MacKay. “But we had nothing to do with this.
“I understand people are suffering and they have every right to. We’re just hoping they might stop because this has been such a nightmare for us too.”
Accused was sober and improving: grandmother
Isadore spoke to the Herald this past May, claiming his innocence but admitted that he had been questioned by RCMP investigators soon after Bernard’s death. Isadore said he had been quickly released from custody and believed he was no longer a suspect.
Isadore also admitted that he had threatened violence against Bernard but that he had never intended to follow through.
His grandmother said she had confronted Isadore several times about Cassidy’s death but each time he denied having any involvement.
“I asked him many times and he swore he didn’t do it,” said the grandmother.
MacKay had seen Isadore and Bernard together several times when they were a couple. They bickered a lot but MacKay but she doesn’t want to believe her grandson is capable of killing.
Isadore had battled drug addiction but had been clean for the last year since getting methadone treatment, said Mackay.
Her grandson had always been kind to her and was often the same to his brothers and sisters, she said.
“When he got sober he was really improving. He would help me out if I needed anything done. He was good to his own.”
MacKay has not spoken to her grandson in a couple of months, she said. She’s still unsure whether she’ll be able to attend his future trial.
“I don’t have the strength to get involved,” said MacKay. “I’m not sure if I ever will.”
- Cassidy Bernard’s mother watches as her daughter’s alleged killer appears in court
- Cassidy Bernard's ex made violent threat before We’koqma’q woman's death
- We'koqma'q band bans Cassidy Bernard's ex-boyfriend from community
- We’koqma’q offers $100,000 reward, says Cassidy Bernard was murdered
- We’koqma’q residents, supporters block causeway seeking answers in Cassidy Bernard’s death